Saturday, July 4, 2015
Chloe And Theo: Dakota Johnson's Fifty Shades of Green?
A kind of big screen flaky fairy tale about environmental activism and global warming, Chloe And Theo is an unfortunate example of how good intentions can end up formulated in the worst ways. Not to mention underestimating the intelligence of the assumed idiotized movie audience to such a degree, that this film on sugar coating overload can be viewed as more about polluting minds than mother earth.
Presumably based on a true story about Theo Ikummaq, an Indigenous Canadian Arctic Inuit who sought the help of world leaders as his people have been observing with alarm the melting away of their frozen, once eternal 'cathedrals of ice' all around them, Theo apparently ended up in this Hollywood style yarn instead. And a narrative which never more than vaguely addresses the ecological issues presenting themselves, but veers into an offensive crime caper parody connected to poverty and racism. Black Lives Hardly Matter Alert.
Dakota Johnson, fresh from her critically denounced stint as the love interest of demented Wall Street honcho Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey, has moved on to masquerading here as scowling, duplicitous homeless hustler Chloe on the streets of Manhattan. How she ended up there and whether it may have anything to do with Grey dumping her for good in the perpetual Shades sequels to come, is anyone's guess in the absence of a credible back story.
In any case, Chloe soon crosses paths with Theo, who has journeyed to 'the people of the South' in order to hopefully seek help from their elders on behalf of his people concerning an 'angry sun' as 'my world is melting, please save our world from the sun.' But what eventually ensues is no less than two acts of threatened violence involving African American males confronting him, and all sorts of potential fraud at the hands of poor people, that indeed appears to upstage as a more often than not silly distraction, any environmental concern as the most imminent danger.
Which is not to say that the film is without its scattered moments of wit and solemn reflection. For instance elders in the 'South' unlike the wise and revered ones of his own culture, are discovered by Theo to his dismay as discarded and seemingly imprisoned inhabitants of bleak nursing homes. Or, the subtle but meaningful interludes of reflection, when Theo's quest is defined as 'purpose' in contrast to US society's emphasis on 'fun' as the ultimate human fulfillment.
Though an unfortunately telling episode, is when Chloe berates an upper class human rights lawyer, played by Mira Sorvino, who offers to help Theo have his message heard. As Chloe scolds her for being too rich to understand or relate to poverty and street people like her. An irony presenting itself which is so blatant and unreal, as these wealthy actors themselves impersonate the poor with such artificial posturing primarily telegraphing utter mockery.
So will we ever see the day when the actual workingclass is hired in movies to authentically play themselves? Just as whites historically mimicking people of color on screen was shunned long ago.
So the question remains, what does it actually mean to say a movie is going green, or is it just more of fifty shades of green gone Hollywood. Which in that case, is likely to refer more to the motivation of green growing in box offices, than in nature.