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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Electrick Children

This highly engaging and unconventional coming-of-age story is about the journey of life itself, about trusting yourself even when the world deems you crazy.
By Dani McAllen
October 23, 2012
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Electrick Children

This highly engaging and unconventional coming-of-age story is about the journey of life itself, about trusting yourself even when the world deems you crazy.
By Dani McAllen
October 23, 2012
  shares
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Concrete Playground has five Double Passes to giveaway to Electrick Children. Simply make sure you are subscribed to Concrete Playground, email auckland@concreteplayground.co.nz with the subject line: ELECTRICK to go in the draw.

In Electrick Children Rachel (Julia Garner) plays a rambunctious teenager from a fundamentalist Morman family in Utah who dreams of a world filled with bright red mustangs – a rather different world than the dull and dusty one currently dominated by her father Paul Lynn (Billy Zane).

Garner shines in director Rebecca Thomas' feature debut. She endows her character with a level of poise and strength rarely seen in such young actresses and carries the movie forward in almost every scene. Despite knowing it's forbidden, she listens to a cover of Blondie's Hanging on the Telephone on a blue cassette tape and mysteriously falls pregnant. Modern science would have us believe she must have broken her promise to god and done impure things. But Rachel believes the song has provoked an immaculate conception and her naivety makes it hard to imagine she could possibly be lying.

What follows is an adventure that will force Rachel to choose between those who believe her and those who question her and the outcome is surprising. After her brother Mr Will (Liam Aiken) is accused of improper relations with his sister (the only way her family can make sense of the pregnancy), he is forced out of the community. Later than night, to avoid an arranged marriage, and surprisingly with help from her mother, Rachel steals the keys to the pick up truck and flees to the bright lights of Las Vegas. She is completely unaware that her pain of a brother is secretly camped out in the back.

Once there Rachel follows the 'signals' to find the singer on the cassette tape who she believes is the father of her unborn child. She falls for Johnny, the lead singer of a hard-core rock band after noticing he's wearing a T-shirt bearing a cassette tape. But it's his right hand man, and ultimate good-guy in the story Clyde (Rory Culkin) who steals the show. With equal parts dismissiveness and compassion for her cause, he ends up falling in love with Rachel. He's the one person who has faith in her, above even her own family who are meant to believe that the lord once gave his only son to Mary.

The cassette tape also reveals a surprise plot twist as Rachel learns something important about her family history (she is her mother’s daughter it seems). This highly engaging and unconventional coming-of-age story is about the journey of life itself, about trusting yourself even when the world deems you crazy. As Rachel attempts to understand what love, faith and family are really about, we are taken on a trip that ultimately does not have a black-and-white destination. You just have to believe.

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