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Review of Innocents – an icy brilliant story of children with supernatural abilities – future classics | Movies


A The Norwegian residential complex is becoming a village cursed in this vivid supernatural story by director Eskil Vogt, who as a screenwriter is known for his collaborations with Joachim Trier; rather strange, but his film before this brutal chill was co-written by them romantic comedy The worst man in the world. As for “Innocents,” it could become a classic scary movie: it smeared my palms with anxiety and, by the way, has one of the best children’s games I’ve ever seen. Watch it now until Hollywood shows up and spoils your perception with a clever remake. (Having said that, Steven Spielberg or Brian De Palma may have been interested in this script at a young age, and maybe even now.)

Vogt places us in a pleasant, albeit indifferent residential building in Romsas, Oslo, with high-rise houses in the style of the 60s near an artificial lake and picturesque forests. Ida (played by newcomer Raquel Lenora Fleet) is a capricious nine-year-old girl who is outraged that her mom and dad pay so much attention to their older sister Anna (Alva Brinsma Ramstad), who suffers from autism. As the long hot summer lasts, Ida remains to play outside, and she is tasked with caring for Anna. But one day Ida leaves her sister alone on a swing while she sets off with a new friend: a boy named Ben (Sam Ashraf) who shows her an amazing mental trick he can do by forcing the bottle cap to fly in the air without touching it. . He also has an unpleasant addiction to animal torture.

Meanwhile, Anna befriends a girl named Aisha (Mina Jasmine Bremset Esheim), who has the telepathic ability to match Ben’s telekinesis. Aisha begins to speak in silence in her mind with Anna, who – to the great surprise of her parents – can now speak, thanks to her new friend. But these superpowers, expressed as calmly and openly as in some socialist-realist drama, become forces of evil.

Ida’s first reaction to Ben’s trick with the bottle cap is something compelling and even shocking: her sudden fierce smile of pleasure and excitement. It is almost unearthly. These children are not innocent, and yet there is something primordial in their isolation from adult life; like children in this namesake of the 1961 film based on the story of Henry James “Turning the Screw”, their world is a secret from adults. I also thought of English TV playwright Dennis Potter.

With a story like this, it’s tempting to find it legible just as a metaphor: deciding that the existence of Ida, Anna, Ben, and Aisha is a parable about violence, family dysfunction, or racism (these are two young men powers, at least initially.) Vogt’s script for Trier’s 2017 film Thelma, with its theme of telekinesis obviously amenable to metaphorical reading. But perhaps the strength of this film is that there is no other level in it. They just have these supernatural abilities, it’s something to do with the fact that they’re kids, and that’s all there is to it. The final “duel” scene, which takes place in almost complete silence and under the noses of conditionally competent adults, is a kind of masterpiece. The innocent are a nightmare that unfolds in the cold clear daylight.

The film “Innocent” will be released on May 20 in cinemas and on digital platforms.


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