Thursday, January 22, 2009

Changeling – A true story brought to life by Clint Eastwood

In folklore, the word changeling means an ugly, stupid, or strange child left by fairies in place of a pretty, charming child. The plot of Changeling works around this theme and showcases a mother’s tryst with the powers that be to get her charming son back in 1920s Los Angeles.

Angelina Jolie plays Christine, the brave mother who confronts the corrupt LAPD. Nice performance. But one couldn’t help wonder how someone like Jodie Foster would have played the part.

When the cops inform her that her missing child has been found, you think her nightmare has ended. But that’s exactly where it begins. As they bring in a child who isn’t her son and forces her to raise him up. Shockingly, the kid plays along stoically.

The second half of the movie, I felt was a bit too long. Clint Eastwood could have chopped the scenes more deftly to get to the coda. But the one thing that keeps you riveted to your seats till the end is its brilliant music. It’s again Clint Eastwood’s genius that comes to the forefront as he orchestrates one of his best background scores in the recent times.

Great cinematography and some neat performances, especially by LAPD captain Jeff Donovan and the activist Reverend played by John Malkovich, uplift the movie a notch higher.

Surely not the best movie he’s made. That vote would either go for Mystic River or The Unforgiven, according to me. But the craft is unquestionable. Do watch it for his ability to create a compelling drama, which many in Hollywood struggle even to this day.

Posted by Murali.

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