Listen: Hope 103.2's movie reviewer Laura Bennett discusses 'Chaos Walking' on Mornings with Katrina Roe
Imagine a world where all your thoughts are on display, and all you have to protect yourself is your ability to control your mind.
In the dystopian narrative that author Patrick Ness created in the Chaos Walking series, this premise lays the groundwork for a story that deals with the intricacies of our internal dialogue, and how we would navigate a life where our private lives are made public.
In the new film adaptation, Tom Holland (Spider-Man) plays Todd, the youngest of a settler community who have moved into the New World, where all the males’ thoughts are on display and women have become extinct. Things change for Todd when a spacecraft lands near his home and Viola (Daisy Ridley) emerges as the lone survivor. Being the only female in town – and with the advantage of having her thoughts shielded while everyone else’s are unguarded – Viola’s life is under threat, and Todd decides to protect her while finding out more about where she came from.
The power plays between those who are better at disguising their thoughts (or ‘The Noise’ as it’s been named) and those who are less discreet is a lesson in vulnerability and how our personal experiences can be used again us.
Todd’s thoughts also reveal how a young man finds his sense of identity and what he’s most ashamed to reveal.
Together with Viola, Todd also grapples with who his home belongs to – as debate between the settlers and indigenous aliens emerges, and issues within the New World are brought to light.
Chaos Walking has the potential to become the next young adult film franchise, with a blend of innocence and adventure that lends itself to the success of brands like The Maze Runner and Divergent series. It just needs to attract enough people back to the cinema first.
Chaos Walking is out now. Rated M. Listen to Hope 103.2’s full review in the player above.