Saturday, January 18, 2014

Indigo Children

Completing a first feature film is no small feat.  So, kudos to Writer/Director Eric Chaney for getting Indigo Children onto the screen.

However, it is not unusual that what a novice filmmaker says he/she was trying to communicate is not what the audience sees.  And, that was the case here.
But, first, the good news.  Cinematographer Jay Hufford did an admirable job of capturing broad images, close-ups and even super close-ups of a butterfly, a bee, a caterpillar.  And, Composers Jesse Lee Herdman’s and Trevett McCandliss’s music was delightful.

As for the actors, the young female lead Isabelle McNally is both extremely engaging and watchable.  With proper training, she should have a successful career. 

And, for the film’s treat, I’m reminded of the Old Actor’s line in The Fantasticks, “There are no small actors; only small parts.”  Suzanne Lynch, as the male lead’s mother, who is distraught over the death of her husband, gives a haunting performance without uttering a word. The scene where, having overdosed on pills, she rubs the ashes of her husband over her face and body is truly poignant and is the high-point of the film.  Casting Directors, Producers and Directors take note… If you can’t get the great Melissa Leo for your film, give Suzanne Lynch a try.  You might be pleasantly surprised.
Now, for the bad news.  From the very badly phrased first line, which is repeated in the middle and at the film’s end, the script is very weak and the editing is a schizophrenic mish-mash. If Chaney wants a career, I suggest he work with and listen to a strong script consultant or, better yet, concentrate on his budding directing skills.

But, the film’s worst offense of all is its title.  While it’s perfectly okay for a character to claim she might be an Indigo, it is disrespectful to the audience to purport that your film is about Indigos and it is a dishonor to the true Indigos, who are here to help us.  A more fitting title, in keeping with the subject matter, might have been The Kindred; or, in keeping with the movie’s glacial pace, Molasses.

I give Indigo Children a 2 out of 5.  

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