Wednesday, March 30, 2011

“Trust” – Movie Review


This week, we had a bonus screening of the drama “Trust”, starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener and directed by former “Friends” star, David Schwimmer.




When a teenage girl is raped by a sexual predator she meets over the Internet, can the authorities find the rapist for her father catches and kills him?




Annie (Liana Liberato) is a bright, happy and active 14 year old girl whose life mostly revolves around playing for her high school volleyball team, surfing the Internet and meeting boys.  One day, she meets Charlie, a young man in an online chat room who claims to be in high school and also appears to share mutual interests with Annie.  After exchanging many instant messages, e – mails, texts and phone calls, they agree upon a furtive meeting at a local shopping mall.  Much to her shock, she learns that Charlie is actually a man in his late 30’s – once she gets over her initial surprise, they spend some time together, after which, they go to his motel room where they have sex. 


Although wishing to keep her illicit tryst a secret from her parents, Will and Lynn (Owen and Keener), she confides in her best friend who sees the statutory rape for what it really is and informs her parents, who then get the authorities involved.  Naturally, Will and Lynn discover the disturbing truth as well, turning increasingly fearful and protective of their oldest daughter.  Despite the fact that the FBI seems to be doing its best to try to find the rapist, Will becomes frustrated by the slow progress; as a result of this, he sets out on his own to try to catch his daughter’s attacker and extract justice in his own way. 


Part of the problem in catching “Charlie” is due to the fact that Annie refuses to cooperate in the investigation, primarily because she does not believe that she has been raped.  In fact, she is continuing to try to engage “Charlie” both online and via cell phone, but he appears to have lost interest in her now that he’s had sex with her – as a result, Annie becomes increasingly frustrated because her new “boyfriend” will no longer have anything to do with her.  With increasing evidence pointing to “Charlie” having perpetrated the same scam on other little girls around the country, Will attempts to circumvent the FBI’s efforts in order to find this man himself – but will doing so risk tearing his family apart? 




Despite a few minor flaws in the story telling – some pieces of information are slightly muddled along the way, briefly taking you out of the movie occasionally – this is a reasonably good movie that I can recommend … just not to everyone.  The reason for the qualification is due to its subject matter – while rape is certainly a topic that’s sufficiently disturbing on its own, the rape of a child by a sexual predator encountered on the Internet is particularly upsetting to some.  This is an intense movie and if you think you can emotionally deal with the topic, then you might find seeing this movie to be a rewarding and enriching experience.  On the other hand, if the subject is a little too strong for you, then you’d likely be better off skipping this move altogether. 


The simple, one-word title of the movie was an excellent choice because as the movie plays itself out, you see that the word “Trust” does not simply apply to the relationship between the victim and her attacker, but between others in the story as well:  The family must trust each other, they must trust the system will work properly to find the rapist and bring him to justice, and the rapist must trust his victim that she will not report the incident as a crime in the first place.  Clearly, issues of trust permeate almost every scene in the film, making the title brilliant in its simplicity.  The performances by the leads in the movie are powerful, especially that of Clive Owen, but Liberato – the same age as the character she portrayed – was particularly eye-opening. 


After the screening, there was an interview with Director David Schwimmer and with his young star, Liberato.  Schwimmer talked about the process of getting the movie made, explaining that it started out as a stage play for the theater group with which he works, then started picking up interest as a movie when the script – later in the form of a screenplay – was sent to a film production company that was able to convince Owen to star.  With his name attached to the project, funding became easier and they were able to start shooting within three months thereafter – but only had one month of filming budgeted in the schedule.  Liberato said she started acting as a child in Galveston, Texas, then her family moved to Los Angeles, where she was noticed by casting agents who began to get her various jobs in commercials and TV shows. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak Your Piece, Beeyotch!