“I don’t regret watching Electrick Children, but I’m disappointed at the wasted potential.”
Last night I watched Electrick Children, and while I liked it there were a few things keeping me from loving it. For those who don’t know, Electrick Children is a movie that follows a mormon girl who believes that listening to a song got her pregnant, and she then goes on to search for the man who was singing because she believes him to be the father of her unborn child.
There was a lot about this movie that I liked. First of all, it looked stunning. The direction was absolutely beautiful, and I especially loved how there were two very distinct portions of this movie that were highlighted by the direction. During the mormon sections you would see very bright, very clean environments; but in the city the direction turned from focusing on the good to focusing on the seedy and it made everything feel dirtier. This was most likely a look at the world through our main character’s eyes seeing as this world was new to her, and let’s face it: Las Vegas is pretty gross. I also really liked the editing in the movie, especially during the opening portions of the film. I felt that the editing did a good job of showing the audience everything they needed to see, keeping them in the loop, without overwhelming them. The cuts were quick but deliberate, and they never overstayed their welcome or went by too quickly. I also felt that the music in the movie was very well implemented (both the main song and all other music), and it also managed to be pretty catchy. I also found the performances in the movie to be pretty great, each one bringing a lot of emotion to the film. And Billy Zane is great at being creepy as all hell.
But like I said, there were some things I didn’t like about Electrick Children. These things pertain mainly to the plot of the movie. Now while I thought the plot was pretty interesting, I felt that there were quite a few problems with how it was presented. First of all, the focus of the movie seems to shift pretty rapidly from one thing to another. First the movie was about this girl finding the father of her child, then it switched to a self-discovery from the girl’s perspective, then it switched to her brother’s self-discovery, then it switched to a love story, then back to self-discovery; it was kind of all over the place. And it didn’t help that Electrick Children didn’t seem to know who its main character was. There were three characters in this film that I could argue were the main character, and that is simply because the movie kept changing its focus so often. And to top this off, some of these focuses didn’t even feel natural. First of all the ‘self-discovery’ portions felt like an extended episode of Breaking Amish, and apart from the rather obvious ‘fish out of water’ moments there wasn’t a whole lot there. And the next thing is the love story present in Electrick Children feels very contrived. There is a very clear ‘not interested’ vibe going into this relationship, but suddenly that switch is flipped for what? Ten more minutes of story? It just felt kind of pointless. But come to think about it the love story wasn’t pointless at all, because without it how would we get to the confusing ending? Electrick Children is an odd movie to say the least, but everything could have been explained away if not for the ending. And the issue I have with the ending isn’t just that it is confusing, but that it is kind of uneventful. We spend 90 minutes building up to a scene that we had been expecting for a while, and nothing is really added to that. It just felt kind of cheap for a movie that seemed really different when I started it.
Overall Electrick Children was an interesting movie, but not one that I feel I will revisit in the years to come. The story was interesting to begin with, but then it kind of gets bogged down in it’s own shit and takes what was a really unique experience and turns it into one that was kind of generic. I don’t regret watching Electrick Children, but I’m disappointed at the wasted potential.
I give Electrick Children a B