Disturbing to Think About

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Changling - Movie PosterCHANGELING is the latest film directed by Clint Eastwood, which stars Angtelina Jolie, and it should not be confused with the 1979 THE CHANGELING, which starred George C. Scott.

The earlier film was a ghost story, and this one is more of a horror story, but not in the way you might think. It is based on actual events.

The time is 1928, the place is Los Angeles, and Jolie plays Christine Collins, a single mother of a nine-year-old boy named Walter.

Christine is a supervisor of the massive switchboard operation at the local telephone company, which requires her to wear roller skates and glide back and forth behind the long line of operators.

One Saturday morning, Christine is called in to work, and she is forced to leave Walter alone in the house they live in.

Walter assures his mother that he will be all right by himself, saying, “I can take care of myself. I’m not afraid of the dark. I’m not afraid of anything.”

However, when Christine comes back home that evening, Walter is gone and she cannot find him anywhere. She calls the police and is told that they won’t even begin looking for him until he has been missing for 24 hours.

So, Christine keeps calling, the police keep investigating, and Walter remains missing.

Finally, five months later, the police inform Christine that Walter has been found in Illinois, and he is being brought home. However, after Christine, the police, and the local reporters all wait at the train station for Walter’s arrival, when he gets off the train, Christine says, “He’s not my son.”

The police find themselves in an awkward situation, they insist that he is, the boy agrees, and Christine is told to take him home on a “trial basis.”
She is told that she is the boy’s mother and therefore in no position to be objective.

Then John Malkovich shows up as the Reverend Gustav Briegleb, who has made it his mission in life to expose the Los Angeles Police Department and all its corruption. He tells Christine that the police don’t want public dissent, contradiction, or embarrassment.

Because Christine represents all three to them, Christine is forcibly admitted to the Psychopathic Ward of the General Hospital solely on the captain’s signature.

CHANGELING is gruesome to watch and disturbing to think about.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”