Electrick Children - DVD Review

'Rebecca Thomas' film adopts a more softly, softly approach to exploring the myths peddled by leaders of isolated communes, and along the way attempts to stay true to an allegory the director clearly cares about'

Anchored by a floating first person narration, seemingly intent on grating slightly, Electrick Children can be a difficult film to love at times. Sometime opposite of fellow cult-following Indie Martha Marcy May Marlene, Rebecca Thomas' film adopts a more softly, softly approach to exploring the myths peddled by leaders of isolated communes, and along the way attempts to stay true to an allegory the director clearly cares about.

At the centre of the story is narrator Rachel (Julia Garner), an easy protagonist to get along with, as her innocence clashes coyly with the worldly experience of those around her. Rachel is, it must be said, extremely lucky. Her first port of call upon her banishment from her township, onto the Las Vegas strip, is a friendly street musician, who politely points her in the right direction. Next, Clyde (Rory Culkin) falls out of a bar, desperate to help her find her way. The logic is stretched on more than one occasion, and the preternaturally lovely people Rachel meets seem to exist in a world unlike this one.

Thomas though, is crafting what is ultimately a fable and she seems unconcerned that her world is full of coincidence and pleasant departures from Rachel's life back home. Cinematographer Mattias Troelstrup, who has a history in Indie productions, gives the thing a visual look to fall back on; dreamy, pallid, Vegas' natural and unnatural bright lights dulled to a haze.

It is credit to Thomas that the story does not rest solely on our investment with Rachel's belief that she is carrying the child of God and, at least in part, it is a good thing too. Fellow outcast Mr. Will (a very good Liam Aiken) and Clyde provide snapshots into youth as Electrick Children sees it. Both are dis-associated from their families, seemingly set on problematic paths. But Thomas has a lot of sympathy for them and a clear belief in their innate goodness. Even Cassidy Gard, who shows up twice with very few lines, seems to play a likeable person for the band of main characters to interact with.

There's a lot of hope then in Electrick Children and that seems to include in the scripting stakes, where Thomas' self-penned narratives relies on chance encounters more often than is comfortable. Individual ability to get along with this will vary but the characters are pleasant enough and high quality Indie production design is a joy to behold.




Electrick Children is released on UK DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 15th October 2012.

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