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Chronicle [film]

Entry updated 14 June 2021. Tagged: Film.

Film (2012). Twentieth Century Fox presents a Davis Entertainment Company production. Directed by Josh Trank. Written by Trank with Max Landis. Cast includes Dane DeHaan, Michael B Jordan, Michael Kelly, Ashley Hinshaw, Bo Petersen and Alex Russell. 89 minutes. Colour.

Three teenagers develop Telekinesis after touching a meteorite.

"I bought a camera and I'm filming everything from here on out."

Rarely has the association between Superpowers and adolescent disturbance been so explicit. High school friends Andrew Detmer (DeHann), Matt Garetty (Russell) and Steve Montgomery (Jordan) discover a brightly-coloured, crystalline meteorite embedded deep into the earth at a party and shortly thereafter begin to develop powers of telekinesis, moving quickly from pranks and high jinks to causing traffic accidents and flying together high above the earth, before then progressing to darker territory as camera-operator Detmer struggles to reconcile his new-found powers with a dying mother (Petersen) and an abusive father (Kelly). Garetty fails to impose rules of restraint upon the others – no using telekinesis when angry or in public or on living things – before a grief-stricken Detmer first strikes Montgomery with lightning during a storm and then engages cousin Garetty in a battle of Superheroes above the City of Seattle, Washington.

The use of Found Footage is more adroitly handled than in many similar films – the nature of the power shared by the protagonists allows the camera to hover freely, lessening any sense of visual claustrophobia – and the set-piece finale is nearly as spectacular as that of many of the films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are shades of Akira (1988) in the capacity of the three friends to affect their shared environment, and the film is well-written, with affection and Humour in the dialogue and a touch of tongue-in-cheek Metaphysics with playful references to Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Plato and Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). Chronicle does not make the mistake of pretending to be more real than the fiction it presents, instead using the mock-documentary format to accent naturalism among its performers. [MD]


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