Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Changeling”

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Did I Hear Someone Say “Change” ?

~ Hello Everyone ~
 Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
Getting My Vote Today:  Changeling

Director Clint Eastwood is back, and older better than ever in a new
cinematic nail-biter that will leave you breathless.  “Changeling” is an
epic 1920’s period piece featuring action, suspense, gore and even a
couple of flappers !  (No, I’m not talking about Angelina Jolie’s lips.)

Yes, Angelina Jolie stars in this Oscar-worthy flick, and (going against
type) she actually refuses to take a free kid !!!  Where on Earth is
Madonna when you need her ?

It all begins when Christine Collins (played by Jolie), is asked to go
into work on her one day off…  She leaves her cute young son, Walter,
home alone with nothing but a sandwich and a prayer.  BIG MISTAKE. 
When she comes back, Walter is gone baby gone.  Of course, Christine
runs around the neighborhood in a panic, and finally calls the police.

Turns out, calling the police was not a good idea…  If you read the
history books, you will see that some cops in her region (Los Angeles,
California), were a vile, corrupt group of cowardly curmudgeons in  
the days before the Great Depression.  Hmmmph !  I don’t know why
they called it  “Great”.  Sounds like it was just AWFUL to me.

Anyway,  after dragging their feet, the police show up to her house
and file a report.  They act like they just don’t care, leaving Christine 
with no hope whatsoever.  Not even Bob Hope.  (He was unavailable 
due to a prior commitment on the Vaudeville circuit).

  

changelingpic3[2] by you.
Why Are You Asking If I’ve Had Collegian Injections ?

 

Feeling neglected and alone, our heroine’s fortune takes a stunning turn
for the better when Christine realizes she is part of a secret society of
assassins !  She hops on top of a moving train with a loaded gun, and  
then exacts her revenge by shooting people (in slow-motion) !  Morgan
Freeman shows up, helping her at every turn by…  Um…  Hold on a  
second…  Oops !!!  Wrong movie !  Sorry.  Where was I ?

Oh yes… Neglected and alone, Christine has nowhere to go.  Her sad,
pathetic plight is noticed by a real high-profile radio station preacher
(played by the amazing John Malkovich), and it all starts to equal bad 
press for the incompetent Los Angeles PD….  Desperate to quell an 
awful situation, the police manage to find her “son”.  She bursts into 
tears of joy hearing this news on the phone, but all that glitters is not
gold.

When her alleged son is brought to her (five long months after his
disappearance), she is shocked to see it is NOT Walter.  The police
say that he has “changed” physically because of neglect, abuse and
starvation.  They actually tell her (and this is a true story mind you)
Walter’s now three inches shorter because “all of the stress made his
spine shrink” !

Here is some of the SHOCKING dialog from that scene.*
*(As best as I can recall)…

~

Christine:  “His spine shrunk ?  You want me to
believe that ?”

Officer:  “Yes ma’am !”

Christine:  “But why is he speaking Italian ?”

Officer:  “He saw a couple of foreign films !”

Christine:  “Why does he have a HUGE mole on
his chin ?”

Officer:  “It’s just dirt ma’am”.

(The kid screams as the officer rips the mole off).

Christine:  “Why is he a Yupik Eskimo ?”

Officer:  “He’s VERY cultured now after traveling the
world”.

Christine:  “For crying out loud, this child is 46
years old !”

Child:  “Hey lady, I’m only 39 !  Damn !”

Christine:  (Gasps) “My child doesn’t swear !”

Officer:  “But we swear this is your child !”

~

Needless to say, Christine refuses to believe the bad cops, so she 
rushes straight to the newspapers with her story…  Panicked, the 
police respond by promptly throwing her into a mental institution.  
They claim that being separated from her son for so long made her
go “mad” and that’s why she does not recognize the boy.

At first, it looks like Christine has found a friend in a pretty young
 blonde nurse at the institution…  But that is not the case !!!  The
nurse rips poor Angelina Jolie’s clothes off and hoses her down in
the showers !!!  That terrible scene goes on for what seems like  
forever, but just when you think it’s over, the crazed nurse grabs 
the dreaded RUBBER GLOVE !  What a naughty, naughty nurse !!!

More hijinks ensue at the nuthouse, and just WAIT until you get a
load of Christine’s new roommate.  (I’m sure we have all had our 
fair share of bad ones, but this gal will make anyone else seem
ideal). 

On the outside, Christine’s radio friend is working to get her free,
solve the mystery, and expose the bad guys for what they are… 
I was transfixed with the storytelling and acting at almost every 
moment.

 

angelina-jolie-changeling[1] by you.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show”, Here I Come !

 

Angelina Jolie does a superb job showing us Christine’s growth and
transformation as a character.  In this film,  She becomes stronger
 over the course of a few months…

The change does not happen overnight…  But when it does, it is
profound and powerful.   Jolie’s performance has a duality that
will leave an impression on me for a long time.  From a meek and
scared woman who is all alone, to a strong and forceful person
ready to take on the LAPD.

 In contrast, many movies have characters “grow” over the course
of just an evening or a week.  I haven’t grown much in the past
week to be honest with you…  (I have, however, managed to    
somehow get better looking) !!!  Yes, movies often try and    
force “character development” on you in the most absurd ways…
 Not the case with this flick ! 

Clint Eastwood knows how to tell a story.  Plain and simple.  Since
 his very impressive directorial debut in 1971 with the frightening 
“Play Misty For Me”  (still one of my own personal favorites), he has
proven to be the master of his craft. Once more, Clint has created 
a very fluid piece of entertainment.  Seamless in every way. 

Nice to see Mr. Eastwood still has it at 78 !!!  Some fellows his age
are just “deadwood” or even “limpwood”, but Dirty Harry is going  
strong.  You won’t see him borrowing Robert Redford’s Viagra in 
the near future !

So, grab a fistful of dollars and check out “Changeling” tonight ! 

~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “10” out of “10”