Chronicle: Movie Review

[Rating: 2.5]

Director: Josh Trank

Cast & Crew: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Dane DeHaan, Ashley Hinshaw, Anna Wood, Alex Russell, Joe Vaz, Luke Tyler, Matthew Dylan Roberts

Synopsis: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

Review: It’s the age of high-end technology, of social networking sites and of losing all inhibitions and letting the whole world know what’s going on in your personal and professional life (add to that any category of "lives" you believe people live in today). As far as my chain of thought goes, our legendary warriors would have enjoyed gaining super powers and recreating history in those epic battles probably making it more realistic for a child born today to read, since he could associate with it (I am no sexist, however superhero stories mostly appeal to boys).

This story written by Max Landis (son of Director John Landis) and directed by Josh Trank is different yet not so different. It is dark; it is about a troubled boy, the plight of nerds who are pushed over by bullies at school, about a strong bond of friendship yet culminating into the same good-against-evil climax. A sci-fi genre aficionado will love this ‘cool’ flick because of the effects mainly which I totally concur on.

So while Andrew (Dane DeHaan), the emotionally unsound teenager decides to record every event each day and his pain is visible through the issues he has with his father and the sight of his dying mother. He has no friends in school until he befriends his cousin, Matt (Alex Russell) and the star at school, Steve (Michael B. Jordan) at a party which leads them to gaining telekinetic powers. Although, I believe it is a mind game, it may be true that one can use the occult-like powers to their best or worst abilities as is shown in the movie. The boys go through phases of power – from just moving around things at a departmental store or re-positioning a stationary vehicle in the parking area to causing accidents and finally deliberately killing innocent people in the city! However, there are points I do not agree upon, when you have pain in your life, is there a way to looking for a solution for it or is it just a given that you accuse everyone around you for your misery. Self-help books are maybe full of tips on optimism and laws of attraction; however, any troubled child should be given a coaching so he does not go around trying to prove he is the king of the world by being a Lord Voldemort… At the mention of that name, I do recall having read in the Harry Potter series that unforgivable curses must never be used, yes, the boys here do not use "curses”, but what they do is magic without wands. More so, because this also got me thinking about book no. 5 of the series where Professor Snape tries to teach Occlumency to Harry Potter. Indeed, I am a huge Harry Potter fan (and I unabashedly admit that) and cannot help but draw references from there wherever possible.

There weren’t any good moments really for me in this flick, but the makers must be credited with what they have to offer – complete thumbs up to the special effects. We see many special effects in many movies these days, so we have become pros at judging what is good and bad I reckon. Out of the three boys, I most liked Steve (Michael), since he has been shown as the benign senior at school working towards a political career until he pays a price for gaining the telekinetic powers. The bond shown between them during the course of the movie is also quite nice, except that there should be a statutory warning against befriending deranged individuals.

We have been reading about many incidents at schools abroad where troubled teenagers have opened fire on fellow students etc. hence as a fleeting thought, one may want to agree that the screenplay highlighted the same. It is a completely watchable movie albeit with the repeat effects, storyline, and the creepy feeling that someone is constantly filming you; Chronicle will appeal to only a select few off the masses.
And as a final word, one must remember, "With great power comes great responsibility" – I did not say it, Uncle Ben did. Uncle Ben who? Spiderman’s Uncle Ben.

Verdict: It is watchable, why rethink? Don’t expect too much though.

Saumya Sharma

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