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Friday, October 15, 2010

Extraordinary measures (released in 2010) - A medical drama starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser

The movie directed by Tim Vaughn is a real life drama which is immortalized in print by the Pulitzer prize winning novelist Geeta Anand. She wrote the book called “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million--and Bucked the Medical Establishment--in a Quest to Save His Children " about a dad who goes about setting up a 100 dollar company to find a cure for his children's affliction.
The story is about John Crowley and his family who live a idyllic life. Crowley has a great job s a medical marketing executive in a big Pharma company and is on the fast track of success. But their lives are shattered when their youngest kids are diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Pompe Disease. Pompe Disease makes the internal organs swell causing muscular dystrophy and is always fatal. Many children thus afflicted do not see beyond their 10th birthday.
Crowley unable to bear his children, Meghan and Patrick's suffering, quits his job and vows to find a cure. After some research he zeroes in on Doctor Stonehill, a grouchy researcher who shows promising result. Crowley manages to convince him in setting up a biotech company which will develop a cure for Pompe disease.

With Crowley's business acumen and Stonehill's medical genius they soon develop a cure. But living with two eccentric personalities is not a cake walk. Crowley has to bear grouchiness, temper tantrums and outbursts. But he keeps up with it even when a big Pharma company swallows their small one.
John Crowley is the undisputed hero who goes to extraordinary measures to alleviate his kids suffering. He cajoles, pampers, yells, threatens and implores with the eccentric geniuses to work towards the cure. He is solidly supported by his wife and other children. You can see his determination as he walks away from his fast track success just to get his children alive.
In the end they develop a cure but even the success is tempered by the lack of common ground between the men. Dr. Stone hill develops an animosity towards Crowley and his tactics. Will it affect the cure and eclipse the guiding spirit of the company. One has to watch the movie to see two different men sink their animosity to save the lives of many. The film also explores the bureaucratic hassles faced by the protagonist and also informs the viewers the methodology of medical research.
Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford star as John Crowley and Dr. Stonehill respectively. They are ably supported by Keri Russell as Mrs. Crowley and the cute child stars. The film was a moderate success and had a mixed reaction from the critics. It is an extraordinary film which tugs at the heart strings, even though some of the scenes are too long and tends to have a documentary feel. But thanks to Crowley and his team, today Pompe disease is curable and thousands of children are saved from a fatal fate with this research. A good movie for all ages.

Extraordinary measures (released in 2010) - A medical drama starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser

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