In today's student blog, Eric M. explores his favorite movie of all time: Chronicle. Thanks for sharing your analysis with us!

 

In the recent decade, movies about the supernatural have skyrocketed in popularity. Just this year, Avengers Endgame has been the juggernaut of all supernatural films, taking the leaderboard in top grossing film of all time. However, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe is extremely popular among fans, there are many lesser known movies that have existed in Marvel’s shadow. This brings us to today’s topic, and my favorite movie of all time: Chronicle.

Chronicle is a fascinating film that explores the supernatural from a unique perspective. Growing up seeing movies about a morally good protagonist getting powers, many people in the younger generation, like myself, would not have expected Chronicle to take the completely opposite approach. The film focuses around three teenage boys, each with their differences, but brought together when they inexplicably gain telekinetic powers. Without giving away too much about the film, let’s explore the more profound aspects of Chronicle.

Of the three boys, the main character Andrew grows up with the most unfortunate living conditions of the three. His mother is ill and bedridden, while his father is abusive and living off unemployment checks. At school, Andrew is commonly bullied and rejected by his peers, and all around he feels alone. His cousin, Matt (another of the three), is simply trying to fit in at school and find love. They meet the third of their group, Steve, when they go to a party and decide to explore a mysterious cave together. Steve, unlike Matt or Andrew, is popular and loved by nearly everyone at school. It is the strange cave that mysteriously gives them their telekinetic powers.

After receiving these abilities, the three begin to explore what they can do with them. Like most hero movies, they start off weak, only able to move baseballs around for a little while, but they gradually become stronger. Much of the film explores the three teenage boys discovering their new powers and having fun with them. The film also takes the opportunity to explore telekinesis itself, granting the main characters the ability to fly by lifting themselves. 

However, while this may seem like a happy situation for the three, Andrew continues to be abused at home. His father’s unemployment checks cannot keep up with his mother’s expensive medication, he feels rejected at school once more, until finally he cannot contain it anymore. As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben would have said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately, Andrew does not have Uncle Ben to guide him, and begins to use his powers as a way to steal money for his mother’s medication, and further deviates to becoming the villain of his own story. 

I love this movie because the powers served as Andrew’s freedom, as well as his demise. Along with the powers, he gained friends and found relief to his previously miserable life, until he threw it all away. The idea is that Andrew is not entirely to blame. Andrew is not a bad kid, but he is thrown on this path due to the social influences around him. This movie is reflective of the weaknesses of society as a whole, and demonstrates how a perfectly “normal” teenager can become a dangerous psychopath. The shift from the happy life that Andrew could have led to the dark, disturbing path that he ultimately does walk is one of the most interesting parts of the movie. As a whole, the movie is a fascinating story of what could be, and what might be.