The nightmare of filmmaking will arrive when we will start selling the premise of the film rather than a story. A fancy set-up to lure the audience but void of any story arc or characters. A hollow package without any substance in it. Though these philosophical words might sound cynical, a glance at Tom Holland’s Chaos Walking will convince of the cynicism.
When you make art, for sake of making it, you make something with no soul in it, that’s what the film Chaos Walking is about.
‘Chaos Walking’ Summary
The film is a futuristic tale of modern colonization. Set in the year 2257 AD, the narrative takes place in a New World (not Earth) colonized by a fewer group of men, Just men, with no women around. Through its protagonist, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland), the film presents a special power gained by the humans as they colonized this new world. They have been inflicted with a condition through which they can hear each other’s thoughts also termed as “Noise” in the film.
“The noise is a man’s thought unfiltered. And without a filter, a man is just Chaos Walking.”
The struggle of Todd is to control his thoughts. For a wild lad like him, his loud thoughts often get him in trouble. For this reason, he admires the Mayor of the Prentisstown, David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen) who has mastered the art of hiding the ‘noise.’
Todd lives in and works at a farm with his adoptive father. According to Todd’s belief, all the women including his mother were killed by the savage native aliens, The Spackle.
The friction strikes the narrative when a spaceship crashes outside the town and the sole survivor of the crash is a girl named Viola (Daisy Ridley). To gain loyalty, Todd reports about the girl and the crash to David. However, Viola runs away from David’s capture after learning his evil intentions. David wants to raid Viola’s main fleet and use it to capture the planet.
Todd helps Viola on the run while they travel to a dangerous part of the planet called Farbranch. On their journey, Todd learns the truth about David.
Who killed all the Women in ‘Chaos Walking’?
David Prentiss killed all the women because when the colony landed on the planet, only men were infected by the ‘noise.’ The women remained unaffected. David and the men couldn’t stand women knowing everything about them through loud ‘noise’ but men knew nothing about them. David turned the men against women and ignited a hatred where all the women were slaughtered. Hence, the real culprit was David.
‘Chaos Walking’ Ending
Viola is trying to find a way to send a message to her fleet to warn them about David’s plan. But they have no means for communication. The leader of Farbranch, Hildy Black informs them about Haven, the first settlement of the new world. At the spot of the first settlement, Viola finds an old expansion ship, probably the one that brought all humans to the new world.
Through a device inside the ship, Viola is able to send a signal to the fleet, while Todd holds back David and his men. Though Todd blacks out and Viola saves him from David. She kills David by pushing him off the ground.
Todd walks up on a ship and finds out that Viola hasn’t left the New world. Contrarily, the second wave has arrived and is preparing for the settlement. With David gone, Viola is hopeful of finding a better life in the New World. In the end, the ‘noise’ grows on her too and is going to infect the new settlers as well. Maybe, “noise’ is the new normal and Chaos Walkers, the future of humanity.
Chaos Walking had a promising premise but it failed to promise anything other than its unique world. The characters weren’t outlined and the story had no graph. The film had a beginning and after that, there was just stale cliche information without any conflict or drama. It had nothing, cinephiles haven’t seen before. In simpler words, it’s the same old meal wrapped in a new packet.
If you are looking for entertainment or engagement, the film can be totally avoided. Narratively, it’s a total waste. Although, if you like watching Tom Holland for some 2 hours, you can give it a try.
Chaos Walking is a 2021 sci-fi adventure film directed by Doug Liman. The film is available for Video on Demand.
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