Children, Authorities and Tyranny in “Freaks”

Child abuse is one of the popular topics for the plot, after the superheroes and special agents. The directors create another life and conditions for those, who came to this world with hidden possibilities. `Freaks` the last year premiered onscreen about the girl Chloe (Lexy Kolker) who lost her mother and stay with dad. An overwhelming scenery of how parents locked their children at home to safe and prevent from the outer world. Moreover, if one of the parents struggled with panic and neuroticism, the life plot for another sci-fi drama will be prepared.

In the world, whereas people aren’t tolerant, let’s say, to other ones, the social wars and debates are a powerful tool to cultivate or suppressed the growth of acute situations. Frequently, bulling of particular children are widespread throughout the world. However, to pose the topic of child humiliation is not so interesting in its clear determination. Moreover, in cinematography exists an enormous number of attempting to show social disadvantages and rare people could do this perfectly. Another way to catch the attention with profound themes – to make a sufficient sci-fi with an episode where the child transformed from an underdog to the world hero. As Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein (Kim Possible, Dead Rising) did. In this review, we explore “Freaks”.



Lexy Kolker Photo Shutterstock Willie Pena
Lexy Kolker Photo Shutterstock Willie Pena

The girl Chloe lives with her father (Emile Hirsch). The government announced a hunt for other children and adults, so Chloe does not leave the house at all, and her dad obsessively controls every step she took. In short, both are locked down in a shelter. Seven years ago, Dad lost his wife and mother of Chloe in the battle for a place in society. Mother, Amanda Crew, tried to undermine the location of the Mountain, where everyone who was at least something different was deported. Usually, they were killed. As a result, thousands of residents disable to live normal of their hidden abilities, which appeared with the main symptom – the blood from the eyes. One day Chloe decides to leave the house to buy the cherished ice cream. Every day the van stops near her house, and the music beckons with its groovy sound. Chloe sees a wonderful world where there is no danger, with other children, swings and parks. She meets the Snowcome – seller, Bruce Dern, who turned out a Grandpa and revealed the truth about her Mom and whether she died or not. Classy scenery, when father or mother stay in conflicts with the grandparents of a dead spouse. The same is well-known in everyday life, such as episodes that directors imposed from supernatural onto the family routine. However, the central spin was concern about how the child accepts the quarrel and sadistic parental habits. That’s why Chloe’s distinguished power is telekinesis and thought control. Abilities with hidden implications, as if a child could become stronger than an adult in moments of danger. In the same way, moving through reality – it is better to be in an embrace with a girlfriend than to die of fear being locked in the darkroom.

Emile Hirsch Photo Shutterstock Kathy Hutchins
Emile Hirsch Photo Shutterstock Kathy Hutchins

Superpowers and child feat are just the minor of those existing problems in the plot, which children most often face during their formation. Well, we can assume that the trivial plot of the life of a statistical child formed the basis of the myth about superpower and grief, which must be destroyed so that everyone can live freely. Again, there is the center of the conflict. The maladministration, who start the war, there is a goal – to destroy the administration and the heroes who are eager to realize this goal. On the other hand, virtually every third child is subjected to pressure and manipulation by adults. The question arises: is the film emphasis on the plight of the child or the existing destruction of the personality from an early ages? When you are just seven years old and the whole world is screaming that being different is disgusting and punishable? In any case, the plot shows excellently how the system is rotting from the top of the government. What we used to call stereotypes turns into a trap on the road for dozens of future generations. That is, we are wasting hundreds of thousands of future chances to change humanity for the better.

From a technical point of view, the film is considered a low budget. There are no world-famous names, special effects, and the quality of the shooting itself suggests that there was enough gap to improve in advance. Master directors hand manifested the lack of money and replaced by the meaning that is put into the script. As it were, the shift in emphasis allows to divert the opinion of critics from unnecessary conclusions and gives more space for expanding the possibilities of presenting the script itself. In the world of cinematography, this is also a superpower. Joking.

However, the film was shot with a deepening to the child’s vision of the problem, and adult conflicts, and even the third version of the plot development – greedy foster parents who are ready to take care of others for money, without realizing the tragic consequences. There are not many sharp turns and sharp corners in the plot. The whole action starts in the second half. I advise you to be patient if you expect a heated situation, carnage, and fights. This will all be at the end, and throughout the development of the plot, attempts to escape and Chloe’s struggle with internal ghosts. The first part of the film rather reflects its context – what can happen in a locked house? But from the point of the neighbor’s view? It is interesting to shift the perspective to the second person – what can happen behind the closed next door? No one ever knows what walls are hidden nearby which every day a van with ice cream stops and dozens of children happily buy a dessert. In general, the plot is like a multi-layered cake, where the idea is to show all possible levels: from the fear of staying with parents to the panic of expressing oneself. In a word, the search for a safety zone in a world where it does not run anymore.

Unlike other existing sci-fi films about super children (`The Darkest Minds`,`Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children`), this one lacks the satiety of the genre. I mean, if in ` The Darkest Minds`, for example, the emphasis was on the struggle between good and evil, between the wilful spread of viral disease, then here the plot is built from the centre – the position of the child in a world where is no protection. And this is expressed not in escape and proof of his or her uniqueness, but obvious vulnerability and defencelessness. This made the film more social and realistic than `The Darkest Minds` and the story of the orphanage for strange children, starring Eva Green. The feeling that you are watching fiction is absent. And the perspectives from which the problem is shown are quite realistic to be fiction. But each of the fantastic stories is based on reality. Another question is how we want to perceive it: as something that happens every day, or as a fantastic plot to release in the films?

Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney

More reviews from the author:

Roma – an Oscar-Winning Childhood Story

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