It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
There are so many good things in "Random Hearts," but they're side by side instead of one after the other. They exist in the same film, but they don't add up to the result of the film. Actually, the film has no result--just an ending, leaving us with all of those fine pieces, still waiting to come together. If this were a screenplay and not the final product, you could see how with one more rewrite, it might all fall into place.
The movie is about two somber, private adults who find out their spouses were having an affair with each other. They find out in an abrupt and final way, when the two cheaters are killed in the crash of a plane they weren't supposed to be on.
Curious, how neither of the survivors ever cries--or maybe they did when the movie wasn't looking. If you think you're happily married and your spouse dies and is exposed as a cheater, don't you cry, anyway? Cry, because you loved them all the same, and now have lost not only your spouse but trust in your memories? "Random Hearts," directed by Sydney Pollack, is too intent on its agenda to stop and observe that; it is about the living and not the dead. Harrison Ford plays a District of Columbia police sergeant, and Kristin Scott Thomas is a Republican congresswoman from New Hampshire. They meet about 45 minutes into the film, in a well-written scene in which he wants to find some kind of closure and she doesn't. "What's the last thing you remember about your husband that you know was true?" he asks her.
Although "Random Hearts" is primarily about the relationship between the two survivors, the early scenes have their own fascination. The movie makes it clear to us that the two cheaters are crash victims, but Ford and Thomas walk through a minefield of available information without making a connection. When Ford finally understands that his wife was not taking the flight for business reasons, he asks, "Are you saying she lied to me?" and we understand how hard this is for him to understand.