- BOTTOM LINE
A Feel-Good Drama Out Of Clichés
|Platform: Amazon||Genre: Adventure, Drama, Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
Christmas Flint (McKenna Grace) believes in extra-terrestrial life while still being a school student. It makes her an outcast among the students. She thinks her deceased mother is part of the space and hears whatever she says. What happens when Christmas Flint senses an opportunity to become the voice to communicate with outer space being, as an Earth representative (through an event organized by NASA)?
To be the voice, Christmas Flint has to be part of a group, and it has to win the tournament? How she assembles a group and what happens, in
the end, is what the movie is all about?
McKenna Grace as a school going misfit youth is perfect for the part. The casting department deserves kudos for getting her to play the part. One look at her and the dialogues and there is an instant connection on multiple levels – the underdog, the awkward child, the dreamer.
All her scenes with other child artists have come out well. The chemistry, which is an integral part of the proceedings is right on the spot. And when McKenna Grace is given the centre stage, she makes the moment count. The dance in the competition during the climax and the dialogues are a prime example.
Bert & Bertie direct the movie Troop Zone. The story picked for the movie is feel-good and straightforward variety. And for it to work a definite direction is needed to get the chemistry and small details right.
Luckily, Bert & Bertie get everything, bang on. The chemistry between the various child-artists have been presented in a heart-warming fashion. It is essential for the narrative as, without any connection with the kids, the entire movie would fall flat.
The other key detail is in the core emotional track involving the main lead kid. We have to believe her unbelievable ‘belief’ – only then the emotional high could be attained, or the conflict is sustained. Bert & Bertie succeeds in both aspects.
And finally, the various hurdles and challenges on the way are sketched out neatly without going overboard or being low-key. They are the cliché parts and could have been so quickly boring due to the predictability. But the actors make it work with their pitch-perfect acts.
The problem with the movie is a predictable storyline. It also has some parts that appear mundane and come across very lazy and uninteresting. As Troop Zone is digital, one gets a feeling of skipping (fast-forwarding) those parts totally after a point.
Still, despite the cliché and predictability, the feel-good factor makes one sit through without getting jittery or iffy anyway. The final moments, the climax before that is sure to bring a wide grin and satisfying and fulfilling experience.
Overall, Troop Zero is warm and feel good flick that can be seen easily once to have a smile on the face. If you like Little Miss Sunshine or well-done films in similar space, give Troop Zero a try.
There are many actors (child and adult), and they all have done their parts correctly. However, it is the senior and experienced actors, Viola Davis and Allison Janney who help in holding everything together. Their experience can be felt in many sequences which makes them do things subtly despite the potential to go over the top, at every turn. As said at the start, the kids are fantastic and bring high levels of charm to the proceedings with their unique looks and traits.
Music and Other Departments?
The music selection for the film is superb. The background score by Rob Lord enhances the appeal further. The cinematography by James Whitaker is lovely. It captures the small-town feel amazingly without overdoing it. The editing by Catharine Haight is smooth and slick. The writing by Lucy Alibar is terrific, and it is a significant factor in engaging in the narrative along with the cast and their acting.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Siddartha Toleti
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