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    September 15, 2009

    MOVIE REVIEW: CHANGELING



    English – (PG13) – N/A – Drama
    Distributor: Universal Pictures
    Running Time: 142 mins.
    Director: Clint Eastwood
    Producer: Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Robert Lorenz; Executive: Tim Moore, Jim whitaker
    Writers: J Michael Straczynski,
    Casts: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore
    Plot: In 1928 Los Angeles, single mother Christine Collins (Jolie) returns home to discover her nine-year-old son, Walter (Griffith), is missing. Reverend Gustav Briegleb (Malkovich) publicizes Christine's plight and rails against the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for its incompetence, corruption and the extrajudicial punishment meted out by its "Gun Squad", led by Chief James E. Davis (Feore). Several months after Walter's disappearance, the LAPD tells Christine that he has been found alive. Believing the positive publicity will negate recent criticism of the department, the LAPD organizes a public reunion. Although "Walter" (Conti) claims he is Christine's son, she says he is not. Captain J. J. Jones (Donovan), the head of the LAPD's Juvenile Division, insists the boy is Walter and pressures Christine into taking him home "on a trial basis".

    The Verdict:

    Green Tea Bern Says:

    You lost your loved one, probably due to kidnap or something but one day they tell you that your loved one is back – but it is not your loved one, what would you do? This is what Christine Collins encountered more than 80 years ago and now the everlasting Clint Eastwood has brought a re-tale of a possible true story which has changed the history of American police force forever.

    Changeling tells the story of a single mom, Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) who lost her only 9-year-old son, Walter. Once found missing, she spent the next 5 months never cease to search for Walter. One day, Walter returned but in just an instance, Christine knew that the found boy is not her son. Despite enormous efforts to tell the police about it, it went to the deaf ear and instead been deemed paranoid that she was sent to asylum. With her faith and believe still in flame, how would she endures all the obstacles in the end?

    Changeling has a strong plot but you need a lot of determination and focus to stay ahead. The plot consists of several layouts and each of them intersects all around by a dramatic story turnaround. The first 10 minutes provide a basic introduction while the next 10 minutes talk about the missing child. The story quickly evolved into search and found; then the denial stage and finally the court hearing scene when history was changed.

    The whole story is not focus on a single particular but runs on several issues on hand. The plots on corrupted police, Walter's missing, Gordon Northcott's kids' abduction and homicide as well as negative public response and faith on the police force are all portrayed. However, these can become pretty much intricate as the story progress. It is also noted that the story runs too long – clocking at 142 minutes, it may annoys you if you failed to get yourself settle from the beginning. Not that the story is boring or likewise, the story is well-written but a bit lengthy. Nevertheless, the exciting feel for a thrilling and eagerness are always been preserved throughout the movie. One will never stop asking what is happening next.

    Angelina Jolie portraying the emotional-ridden Christine Collins should be a plus point, but the attention of the movie lies solely on her. Even, John Malkovich's performances as Reverend Gustav Briegleb which I deemed are good but still pretty much subpar for a veteran like him - notably also his screen time is a bit minimal and less influencing the story pace. Therefore, the whole story sells solely on Jolie as like the poster and trailer. Otherwise, the good thing is the actual assemble of casts that are well connected but still unpolished.

    The whole setting of the movie represents the early years of the 20th century with enough clarity for the movie. The whole feel is great and added in some creative compelling story, on-par acting and a soothing to ear piece of music, the movie is generally good but may lack of something. That lack of something is definitely the ability for it to challenge to Oscar. Of course, the movie did not gain any attention for last year's Oscar but the movie is simply a passable one.

    THE RATING…
    STORY – 4.0 stars
    CASTS – 3.5 stars
    CINEMATOGRAPHY – 3.5 stars
    EFFECTS – 3.5 stars
    Overall – 3.5 stars
    Green-Tea-O-Meter: 14.8

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