A hard-hitting drama about the loss of innocence and the ways it impacts both child and parent alike.
A hard-hitting drama about the loss of innocence and
the ways it impacts both child and parent alike.
With the ever
growing power of the internet so the realms of endless online ‘grooming’ and
exploitation of tomorrow’s youth becomes an increasing threat. Cinema has
tapped into this peril for some time now. Films like Hard Candy and Chatroom
have shown you can never be sure who you are communicating with on the world
wide web. But these previous films have looked at it from a more thrills and
horror perspective, when the truth is there are real predators out there with
their eyes firmly aimed at youngsters who are in all too much of a hurry to
grow up and be seen as ‘adults’.
Annie (Liberato) is a fourteen-year-old girl
about to embark as a senior in high school. Anxious to find friends and nervous
about getting into the volleyball team she makes an online friend in the form
of Charlie. But Charlie is not what he makes out to be and before long has
convinced Annie to meet up with him. What becomes clear is that Charlie is actually
an online predator who Annie has fallen for the charms of. The ramifications
will impact not only her but her mother Lynn (Keener) and in particular her father Will (Owen).
Trust is never
easy viewing. It is at times uncomfortable but always poignant, packing a
powerful message that while hard to witness should be heard by all parents.
Crucially the film’s message is that even the most dedicated of parents and the
most mature of youngsters can fall prey to the dangers of sex as something that
should not be entered into lightly. While Annie’s early reaction to her ‘attack’
is denial, believing her and Charlie had something special, it soon begins to
dawn on her that she was in fact raped.
cannot control the anger he feels towards his daughter’s loss of innocence.
Flitting between moments of rage and thoughts of bloody revenge it is not until
later that Will begins to realise what he is feeling pails in comparison to
what Annie is going through. Furthermore, it becomes abundantly clear that Will
is part of the problem rather than the solution. As someone who works in
advertising he is only too happy to have young adults scantily clad in order to
make a sale. In his own words “it’s all about the tween market”. By making
these youngsters into sexual objects Will begins to realise he is far from the
perfect protective parent.
David Schwimmer, not a name normally associated with hard hitting
drama, handles the story with a deft touch. In only his second feature film,
after the comedy of Run Fatboy Run (2007), Schwimmer never lets the story
become jaded with expectation. Instead allowing his characters to develop
naturally on screen. At times the script wants to veer into melodramatic
thriller but Schwimmer only ever toys with this idea before finding his way
back to the core premise.
is always dependable as a distraught mother figure and here continues that
trend. Owen brings his normally alpha-male bravado to the screen but lends with
it a sentimental innocence that makes his anger all the more hard to witness.
He is helpless, a man at a loss as to how to help his daughter and watching his
frustration go is a key hook to the film. However, it is Liana Liberato who
carries the film. As Annie there is something immediately mature yet naïve
enough to convey her actual age. The well thought out arguments belie her
wide-eyed gaze and delicate nature. Suffice to say that based on her
performance we can expect to see a lot more from this burgeoning talent.
viewing and at times a little more ambiguity would have been preferable, but
overall Trust is a solid film that more than delivers on its terrifying idea.
From a parents point of view it will certainly make you think twice about
upping the security systems on your internet.