Changeling’ performs despite dull start

by Katie AnthonyStaff Writer

Whenever I see movies that disclose anything like “based off a true story,” I dread what’s coming (unless it’s meant to be a story of inspiration).

One such movie is “Changeling,” starring Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, it is a story of desperation and perseverance as a mother looks for her lost child.

The story takes place in Los Angeles from the years 1928-1935. Jolie leaves for work, leaving her 10-year-old son Walter (Gattlin Griffith) at home by himself. When she returns, he is missing.

The opening scene is one of quiet contempt, setting up for what is seemingly meant to be the typical family life in the 1920s. Her son is discovered missing, and then, five months pass like there was nothing to them. Jolie finally gets the call that they’ve located her son in Illinois and she is escorted by the LAPD to the train station. Before the boy’s feet hit the ground, Jolie knows that this little boy isn’t hers.

Even after all of that, the beginning still seemed to start off really slow, and I found myself questioning how in the world I was going to sit through almost two and a half hours of this.

It’s the persistency of Jolie’s character that keeps the plot moving. She questions the police for proof that this child, who is claiming to be hers, is truly hers. She is aided by Rev. Gustav Brieglab (John Malkovich), whose goal is to unveil the unfair and unwilling LAPD. She then takes it upon herself to meet with the media and make a statement that this child is not hers.

The LAPD takes it upon themselves to admit Jolie in to a psych ward after the many accusations Jolie gives the LAPD about not finding her real son. Within the psych ward, the audience gets a feel of how mental health patients used to be treated during this time period-they forced medicine down throats and used shock therapy as a means of treatment.

“Changeling” throws so many emotions at you at once. You start being out happy, then go into suspense, followed by frustration, depression, and maybe some hope in the middle of all of that. Had it not been for the many changes in emotions and the excellence of Jolie’s acting, I probably would’ve fallen asleep.

It seems that on average, Changeling is getting is around three-and-a-half or four out of five stars.

Once you get past the slow start to this movie, I would agree with those star ratings. Just when you thought the plot was finished and the conclusion was near, there would be another twist to the story. Even though there were a lot of twist, however, you really start to feel the pain of Jolie’s character and find yourself walking side-by-side in order to keep her fight going.

If you’re curious to know if her boy was part of the brutal murders or if he’s found later on in the movie, I highly recommend this movie to the curious and the suspense-seekers alike.