THE DARKEST MINDS: Cinema politicizing hits a new high

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The latest film based on a YA trilogy called Darkest Minds is strangely one of the most political films of the summer.

BEIRUT: It’s no shock that cinema lately has become Hollywood’s political mouth piece, as more and more films are released with the expectation of changing more minds and keeping those already changed among the ranks.

The latest film based on a YA trilogy called Darkest Minds is strangely one of the most political films of the summer.

 

The film starts in a turbulent America where 98% of the children’s population has died of a mysteries disease, deeming the 2% of the surviving children enemies of the state and forcing them on the run.

 

These children inhibit special abilities (telekinesis, electrokinesis, telephathy, pyrokinesis, and super smarts) and are thrown into internment camps and segregated by threat level which ironically is a specific color.

Written by Chad Hodge, showrunner of Good Behavior and Wayward Pines, the narrative follows one of these children as she struggles to survive in this divided world.

This story follows a character that, in the beginning, is powerless and essentially frightened and ashamed of what she is; and by the end, she’s grown into this empowered strong character who is able to do things she never thought she could do.

 

The slight flaw though is that the transition or hero’s journey she goes on isn’t as smooth as it should be, with the narrative arriving at certain beats a little prematurely.

The cast here is quite diverse and the film is not subtle about it.

The core group of protagonists feature two African Americans, an Asian, and a white-American running from mostly threatening white people who want to control or wipe out all those enhanced humans.

The actors are quite charismatic on screen and all deliver authentic performances.

 

Yet, when you get passed that, the film is actually a direct echo of the current toxic political climate in the United States of America.

The government promoting a potential cure for the children who have these powers; the League wanting to turn those children into an army to fight the government; and a fascist group of these children literally controlled by the son of the president who is an angry telepath.

All these pieces together you have a brilliant representation of the current global state.

Another interesting factor in this film is how grounded it is in a very believable reality that doesn’t make it difficult for an audience to believe that this could actually happen.

Visually the film doesn’t offer anything new, but this isn’t what stays with the audience upon its completion, it’s the themes and the emotional core of all the characters.

The turbulent times that surround us outside of the theater allows for these dystopian stories to have a greater affect and relevance to its audience.

The release of this film without any other films based on YA properties is actually a good strategy for the studio, and with two other books left – summer release dates should be a perfect fit.

Overall, THE DARKEST MINDS is a decent film with a quite a relevant and powerful ideology and it came as quite a surprise.

 

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