Sometimes, apathy can be the most destructive force of all. This is the lesson that I learned from “Chronicle”. Matt and Steve are friends. Andrew and Matt are cousins. These are the least complicated facts about a film that is the superhero thriller for this generation, a film that explores the domino affect of human action, and inaction.
In “Chronicle”, Matt, Steve and Andrew stumble upon what appears to be a radioactive meteorite or orb underground, near a house party. They all touch and soon after discover amazing new telekinetic abilities. But life doesn’t stop just because you have superpowers. And having amazing abilities does not negate all that has already happened to you. Andrew has suffered humiliation at the hands of his classmates and abuse at the hands of his father for years, which his popular cousin, Matt, is well aware of but never made an effort to chance. After discovering their powers, the three boys start to spend every waking moment together and Andrew and Steve become close friends, the first real friendship that Andre has ever had. But the abuse has not ended, and he continues to be dismissed by his classmates.
When the stress becomes overwhelming as his mother lies dying, he faces the ultimate embarrassment in front of his peers and his father strikes him one time too many, Andrew accidentally kills Steve, his best friend, and the only person who cared enough to ask. As things quickly unravel, Matt’s apathy at his cousin’s lifelong abuse and alienation are highlighted prominently as the catalyst for Steve’s death and Andrew’s downfall, because (like most villains Andrew was merely a hurt and angry person that needed a friend, and found none. Instead, he’d gained an ability that had only served to further isolate him for other people. “Chronicle” isn’t just an incredibly thought-provoking film, it stays true to the teenage experience and handles the issues of domestic abuse and bullying with incredible subtlety and finesse.
We learn that there is more to the battle of good and evil than merely right or wrong. There are those who stubbornly insist on remaining grey and inevitably suffer most of all.