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May 2007


By Nicole Schmuelian



Director: Bryan Gunnar Cole

Writer, Executive Producer: Rob Malkani

Cast: Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, Jon Bernthal, Gennifer Goodwin and Elizabeth Moss

Indalo Productions



Day Zero is a count down for three friends who live in New York City, Feller (Elijah Wood), Rifkin (Chris Klein) and Dixon (Jon Bernthal) and how their lives change when they each receive a notice that gives them thirty days until they are forced to serve their country in the war with the middle east. It entertains the idea of the draft being reinstated and people being chosen at random to fight. Screenwriter Rob Malkani examines the affects the draft would have on people today by using these three friends as a vehicle to tell his story.

The three friends all live different lives and have conflicting views on the war and the draft. Elijah Wood plays a writer that doesn’t struggle with the politics regarding the draft. He is more concerned that he won’t be able to protect himself when at war. Upon receiving the thirty-day notice he sets out to complete a list of things he wants to do before he goes to war. Rifkin (Chris Klein) comes from an upper class family and is a successful lawyer who is about to make partner. His political views are left from center, and he believes that fighting and killing innocent people would not create peace. He tries to find any excuse to get out of the draft, including sleeping with another man. Jon is a cab driver who because of circumstances was forced to defend himself at a very young age. He believes it is his duty as an American to fight for his country. Jon is a dependable friend who the other two characters rely on, especially when they are in trouble. Jon Bernthal unwavering opinion about the draft infringes on Rifkin’s views . The three men give a realistic portrait of how the draft would change people’s lives forever, if in fact the draft was reconstituted.

Day Zero was very inspiring film that gives a different perspective on war. Rather than, portraying characters during combat or after, it shows motivation of the characters and the mental and physical preparations they go through before war. The film dares to show people at their most vulnerable and unattractive moments and grapple with the question of how the war we are in today would be very different if people were required to serve.