Sunday, February 05, 2012

Chronicle



With Avengers and Batman still months off, I was honestly dumfounded looking at the Now Showing movie posters in Gateway.  I didn’t want to go home but I wasn’t sure what to watch.

The 4th installment of Underworld first caught my eye, and I would have watched it too since it had a hot lead star. Eventually I caved in to my uneasiness, with the narrative of the franchise went backwards before going forward I felt was not a good sign this 4th installment will be a good one.

After circling the movie posters a few times after which I had to match with the movie schedules at the counter I ended up with Chronicle.  I liked it because of its poster though it didn’t give much but it did imply powers of some sort.  It wasn’t the most enticing piece of advertising but unfortunately that Daniel Craig movie was too far off at last full show. 

Going through the first half hour of the movie still made me think of Daniel Craig even more.  The style of Chronicles it turns out was Blair Witchy. The lead cameraman in a way is also the lead character so you see him walking through school corridors with camera in hand getting beat up in a first person perspective.  

I think Blair Witch was great, and its method of storytelling fresh but in truth I may have never watched that film if not for the hype. Here, I didn’t have the benefit of hype and the setting was not a mysterious dark forest; it was high school. High school is more predictable than dark mysterious forest and I have no interest in seeing it in a first person perspective. 

It was starting to get depressing seeing the lead making a fool of himself every few minutes and getting beat up.  As the minutes went by, waiting for last full show seemed like a good idea if I only thought of it earlier and worse yet my newly shaved head was freezing from the air conditioning.

Then, it became interesting; they acquired powers, and the film went uphill from there up to the end.  The Blair Witchy style which was as an annoyance became masterstroke especially in seeing the movie as a whole.  The camera style and story telling gave the story a natural feel.  Put that special effects been on a typical Marvel movie it might have come off as underwhelming but here it meshed well with the first person perspective.

It also turns out that depressing is also good; after all would you be depressed if you didn’t believe the actors.  Dane DeHaan who played the trouble lead Andrew was very convincing.  You can see the progression of the character; a teenager beaten up in school and home and then suddenly he had powers.  

Alex Russell should also be credited having played beautifully opposite Dane as the cousin, Matt Garitty.  Michael B. Jordan (unless IMDB is in error I kid you not with the name)  though being a third character with powers felt to much of a third wheel but maybe a necessary one.  The same sentiment can be said also of Ashley Hinshaw. She was very beautiful but the story of Chronicle circles around the cousins and Alex and Dane who played it to a tee.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."   The quote is a perfect description of the film especially seeing Andrew and Matt play off each other.  

In a time when Hollywood is relying too much on special effects especially in the superhero genre, Chronicle is a breath of fresh air because it gave importance to the humanity of the characters instead of over reliance on their powers.  

Chronicle, an acquired taste but definitely a film worth the watch.