TV Times

Changeling’ a mother’s challenging role

By Susitha R. Fernando

A mother’s hunt for her kidnapped son and his return which raises many questions is the base for ‘Changeling’, Clint Eastwood’s latest film now being screened at the Majestic cinema Colombo.

Starring Angelina Jolie in the lead, the film set in early twentieth century Los Angeles flows on a true story of a woman who is reunited with her kidnapped son—only to realize he is an impostor.

In March 1928, Christine, a single mother living in Los Angeles, returns home from her shift supervising a busy switchboard to find that her young son, Walter (Gattlin Griffith), is missing. The initial response of the Los Angeles Police Department is casual and condescending, which turns out to be a chilly foretaste of worse treatment to follow.

After a few months, with great fanfare and press coverage, the city’s hatchet-faced police chief (Colm Feore) stages a reunion between Christine and a boy who is evidently not Walter. When Christine points this out, she is treated first as a hysterical, traumatized woman and then as a lunatic and a threat to public order. She is ignored, smeared in the papers and then locked away in a mental hospital.

Premiered at the 61st Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, where the film met with critical acclaim, it was nominated for three Oscars includnig Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction and the Best Cinematography at the 81st Academy awards.

Exploring themes such as feminine disempowerment and corruption in political hierarchies, the story is written by J. Michael Straczynski mostly based on historical records.

The screenplay based on Straczynski’s original story was filmed in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California from October 15, 2007 to December 2007.

Eastwood’s hunt for the challenging role of Christine ended up with Angelina Jolie as her ability as well as the facial appearance fit the period the movie was set in.

‘Changeling’ also features Jeffrey Donovan, Jason Butler Harner, John Malkovich, Michael Kelly, and Amy Ryan in the key roles.

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