Sunday, February 22, 2009

Changeling (Clint Eastwood, 2008)

***
USA



If the world were a Clint Eastwood picture, it would run very very smoothly, since any prospective threat to the system would announce itself efficiently, whether by slurring their words, smirking lasciviously, breaking into a loony grin, resembling a lesbian or adopting an irregular, indecipherable yet malevolent accent while sending a bereft mother to the nuthouse for undermining their power.

Despite Eastwood's harried tactics, it's impossible not to get drawn into this tale of true and sensational events surrounding the disappearance of 9-year-old Walter Collins from his mother's home in late-20s California. The two face expressions - half-stifled anger and wrenching cries - which Angelina Jolie selects to represent Christine Collins do win over your sympathy, inextricably linked as they are to the fact that there once truly was a Christine Collins, whose child really was abducted, who - with frightening conviction - was saddled with a dodgy replacement, and who - for habitual reasons of convenience and patriarchy - was committed to a psychiatric ward when crying foul.

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