Changeling

>> Saturday, December 13, 2008

"I want my son back!"

I saw this two months ago, yet procrastinated writing about it. No real reason why. I like it, but I liked it more a few days after I saw it. The story is every mother/parent's worst nightmare. You're kid is gone and there's no explanation. The Los Angeles police department is corrupt. (Hey, there's a reason they call it "Hell-ay!") You do everything you can to find your son. The police give you a son, except you can prove it's not your son. And on and on...

"I want MY son back!"

They could make a drinking game with that line in the movie. I was kind of surprised that the writer couldn't come up with some different versions, but perhaps that was the point--a mother's desire to have her son back.

Actually, the most annoying thing for me in the movie wasn't that line, it was the crack in Angelina Jolie's lower lip. It's always there. And the stark red lipstick they used just highlighted it even more. Is she constantly dehydrated or something? It's always there. You can see it easily in the poster. That's how deep that crack is.

And that poster. It makes no sense to me. It looks like her giant head is going to eat the little boy even though he's obscured by a shadow. And the title. Is that the best title they could come up with? A changeling is a creature left by fairies, trolls, etc. in place of a human child. On the one hand it makes sense, except that how many people can make that connection. On the other hand, the movie covers a lot of ground after it's acknowledged the boy the police gave Christine Collins isn't her son. "The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders" isn't exactly a marketable name either. My mom said the title would have made more sense without the 'L' (Changing).

Somebody at the marketing department isn't doing their job because this film deserves better. Everybody does an excellent job in it. Stephanie Zacharek seems to think it should be something else like a scene where Angelina Jolie/Christine Collins goes through electroshock therapy. And that John Malkovich is playing a reverend as "a slithery villain." Um, no, I think she's projecting that onto Malkovich's character. Malkovich talks in his regular Malkovich way. There's nothing villain-esque about him, unless you're unable to watch a new movie with an open mind. But that's exactly what Zacharek seems incapable of because she ends her review with the comment, "Did nobody notice that the real Angelina had been snatched?"

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