Orphans and Angels Review
By Christopher Null
New Zealander Harold Brodie's production, Orphans and Angels, is a good enough film and a good enough story, but unfortunately its shot-on-video nature makes it undistinguished as a motion picture and difficult to sit through for 100 full minutes.
Emmeline Hawthorne (pictured below) makes for a brave and striking lead, though her character arc is rather simplistic: Here, she encounters a drifter (Christopher Brown), who may or may not be the devil incarnate, and soon embarks on a love affair with him. The catch: He's poisoning her with what he says is Ecstasy, having progressively weirder sex with her, and killing off her friends. If her friends were more interesting and/or likeable, we might actually care about this, but as it is, Angels takes its sweet time in telling what turns out to be an extremely simple story with a very straightforward arc.
There are few twists and no real surprises to be had. Brodie says that some people are bad and some are just plain stupid -- to dumb to realize that they're being taken advantage of. We're supposed to sympathize with Hawthorne's character, but that's tough. She's a victim, but she's also a blatant idiot. (That no one in the movie seems to be employed only compounds our apathy.)
Brodie has a knack for camerawork -- he certainly sucks all he can from the video format -- but it isn't enough. Angels would have worked as a short film, but as it stands it feels devilishly repetitive and in the end unfulfilling. There's just not enough story here to keep us enthralled, much less entertained. Interesting technical effort, though.
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Cast & Crew