I know this movie opened a month ago, but on a lazy Saturday, a friend and I decided to indulge in a movie that hadn’t gotten the best reviews, and I’m glad to say I don’t regret going.
Chronicle, in its most basic form, is a coming of age movie, where the story centres around characters receiving strange powers and learning how to deal with this newfound ‘fame,’ for a lack of a better word. The main character, Andrew, decides to chronicle his life story, using a beat-up video camera to record all his adventures. What is quickly discovered is Andrew is a young man who is bullied by his father and has a deathly ill mother. The combination of which makes him introverted in dangerously depressed. It is in stories like these that bullying and depression often culminate into something tragic. Andrew and his cousin Matt and friend Steve, after attending a rave party, come across a strange cavern that has a suspicious sound within. Once they explore it, they discover something they can’t explain, and afterwards, discover strange new abilities.
As the story progresses, the two more well-adjusted members of the trio, Matt and Steve, have no trouble having fun with their newfound power. Andrew, on the other hand, is harassed by bullies at school and at home and lashes out accidentally, throwing a passing car into a body of water injuring the driver. After this, Matt puts down ground rules that Andrew disagrees with.
To not give away the entire story, though the stage is set, for a large misadventure that culminates in what I would argue is not expected. The story is told from a first-person camera point of view, alternating from different characters carrying the camera to further the story along. The actors portray believable stereotypes from high school, the popular kid, the loner and the usual suspects. The story is well told, a quiet burnout for anti-hero Andrew, who loses control of his power, and in his rage and sorrow, loses everything he gained from his newfound power and fame.
While the story was well told and the actors were more than acceptable, nothing stood out in the movie to make it memorable. There were plot holes with respect to how the power was attained and that could have eaten up a whole slew of more material to work with. The movie relied heavily on the characters being developed than anything else. In a way, the story seemed less about the powers, and more about how people react to altering circumstances in life. Andrew, by the end of the movie, had nothing left to lose, and lost himself in the process.
I felt like the story was well told, but all said, it was a somewhat sad movie that seemed strangely uplifting by the end. It is worth watching, though probably not for more than a fee for a matinee.