Changeling

2009-02-20 16:16
 
Changeling

What it's about:

Working single mother Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns home late to find her young son Walter missing. Frantically she searches the neighbourhood and contacts the police. A few weeks later she receives word that her son has been found, and the two are reunited at a press conference organised by the much maligned LAPD. She is shocked when she is presented a different boy claiming to be her son, and tries to get answers from the police and the boy himself. It is only the beginning of her trials, as she finds herself brutally targeted by a corrupt police force that will go to any lengths to halt her search for the truth.


What we thought of it:

Changeling is a horror movie in the truest sense – what it lacks in masked maniacs, monsters and ghosts, it more than makes up for in mundane human cruelty and the devastating effect it has on people. Clint Eastwood gives the film a leisurely pace more befitting a drama, allowing events to unfold in a very believable way. Needless to say, it is a rather grim story made all the more harrowing by being based on truth.

It is Angelina Jolie’s film from start to finish, hinging on her powerful performance. We experience every horrifying revelation she does, and suffer with her every step of the way. It’s a remarkable story of bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, and Jolie projects strength and vulnerability in equal measures. The range of emotions she displays is impressive, yet she never comes across as forced or overbearing. She also looks completely natural, whether as a sophisticated 1920s working mother, or on the verge of a breakdown.

Changeling very thoroughly paints a picture of 1920s LA in great detail, from the costumes to the cars. Many of the supporting characters flit in and out of our anxious view of this world, and we never get to know them like we do Christine Collins. Despite this, there are some great performances – Burn Notice’s Jeffery Donovan is so convincing as the obstinate captain in charge of the investigation that you’ll want to punch him in the face before the end of the film. As effective, yet far more sympathetic, are John Malkovich, who plays Reverend Gustav Brieglieg, a fierce critic of the LAPD, and Amy Ryan as Carol Dexter, a prostitute incarcerated in a mental institution.

While the quality of Changeling is undeniable, it is rather slow, so for anyone looking for edge of your seat sort of stuff might want to think twice. Even though it ends on a genuine note of hope, I’m guessing most people will be left wondering how something this horrible could happen to an innocent person, and what they would do in that situation.

It's also particularly pertinent to the SA situation where police corruption and abuse are rife at the expense of those they are meant to protect. However, if you want a Friday date movie or something to help you forget your troubles, don’t even go there.


A mother's prayer for her kidnapped son to return home is answered, though it doesn't take long for her to suspect the boy who comes back is not hers.

Mark 2009/02/24 3:39 PM
A bit off subject, but this blog style you are using for this site really sucks. Very amateurish.
Kashiefa 2009/02/24 7:05 PM
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its seems like a good movie!
Nico 2009/02/24 9:29 PM
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Brilliant movie. Saw it on Saturday. Long but ... (too short)
omphemetse 2009/03/01 10:36 PM
i watched the movie and i absolutely enjoyed it,it was teriffic and the emotions were there i adore Angelinas peformance,howerver it was more or less the same as Pulo Coelho's boo Veronika decides to die(i stand to be corrected) there are moments in a movie where i felt like i was reading the book, does anybody know if the movie is based on any book or if it just a true story?
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