Sunday, March 22, 2009

CHANGELING

Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Colm Feore, Gattlin Griffith, Michael Kelly


"To find her son, she did what no one else dared."




This Clint Eastwood directed period piece is not to be confused with the haunted house horror flick, "The Changeling". That film with George C. Scott was pretty creepy.

"Changeling" is set in the early 1930s and it traces the true story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie). A single mother whose son Walter goes missing. A few months later, the LAPD claims to have found her son but much to her agony, he isn't her son. He isn't Walter.

The authentic set design accurately depicts Los Angeles in the early 1930s from the streets, the apartments to the trams. The wardrobe as well as the hair style of that era suits Angelina Jolie's frame. The film also showcases the Los Angeles Police Department in a bad light. Back then, the police force was marred with true allegations of corruption, bribery and acts of brutality against common criminals.

But before anything else, the film's main focus is Christine Collins. The hardships and personal struggles she went through to find her real son is painfully documented in this neatly edited film. I say painfully because Christine went through hell and back and never lost hope that one day her real son would resurface. I'd admit certain scenes were disturbing to watch. I guess it helps that Angelina Jolie did a good job in portraying Christine as a helpless yet hopeful sympathetic character with a never say die attitude. A strong woman who back in those days would have received a lot of criticism for being (a) a working woman and (b) a single parent raising her son on her own.

As usual, Clint Eastwood once again regales us with another masterpiece of human triumph realistically set in an era besieged with mayhem. A poignant film dealing with personal tragedy yet at the same time there is a small (a very tiny) tinge of hope that shines through.

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