Friday, 11 January 2013

Echoes of Innocence Review

High school films are the kind of thing that I tend to be in to. I'm not entirely sure where that comes from, I didn't have the best high school experience and that probably has something to do with it. I must like watching people navigate through the experience with what is often more complicated a time then I had. All the drama on screen makes my own seem less terrible. But at a certain point you have to realize that these on screen experiences are just actors playing a role and what ends up being watchable is not necessarily reality. Still, there's an element of comfort in it and that can't be discounted. More than likely because good drama is usually based on some element of truth. In that way the emotional elements take on a universal feel that everyone can relate to for anyone who has gone through the experience of the last 50 years of education where the modern high school experience originated in Western cultures.

Circumstances and technology will change over time, but high school is always just… well… high school. No one likes it, and if you ask some people no one ever really leaves it as you can look at the world and see elements of it in every day life. While watching Echoes of Innocence, I get the impression that the circumstances of today's high school student seems to be ideology. What is belief's place in the high school experience of today? Is there a place for religion and faith in the modern public system? Most people would be turned off by such an idea, but those questions in a lot of ways are more like themes to the film that are creeping around the sides of the film's main plot, much like the background scenery of the visuals or the setting of high school itself. The real story is driven by the character of Sara, a young girl who feels out of place and somewhat ostracized from her classmates. Reasons why are pretty clearly defined through a series of flashbacks which lay out who she is and why she acts the way she does. That coupled with a number of voice overs from Sara herself make her the most interesting character of the bunch, which include her best friend who is both supportive and critical, various classmates who are both put off and intrigued by her, and the new kid in school who joined the local paper and wants to do a story about Sara.

They all play a part in Sara's story but the characters themselves don't necessarily get clearly defined. More often then not they are inserted into Sara's story when necessary to give her someone to interact with. Her own journey is very much a solitary one, defined by her own actions and her own ideas about the world and what she wants from it rather then how she relates to others. This drags down the story somewhat but Sara's progression is defined clearly enough that she manages power through the weak bits. It gives her story the necessary elements not to be bored by it. Obvious parallels to Biblical elements are present but the filmmakers clearly pulled back enough so as not to come off like a preachy film. I'm honestly not sure whether that causes a problem for the film or whether it helps. I suppose it's 50/50 in that department. Still, I think the film is worth watching for anyone who wants to look back and remember the way they saw the world when they were that age. Perhaps give you a new perspective on the vision you have of the world today. I say check it out.

You can find it on Amazon, Google Play and Youtube.

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