A breath of fresh air in the lungs of American independent film-making, first time director Rebecca Thomas brings this brilliantly strange coming-of-age story to the big screen. Electrick Children follows Rachael, a 15-year-old Mormon girl living in a suppressive religious community in the heart of Utah.
Intrigued by her father’s forbidden cassette player, Rachael listens to a mysterious blue tape containing a type of music, which she surmises a few months later, to have impregnated her. Upon telling her unconvinced parents about this Immaculate Conception, and also facing ridicule from the other villagers and a forced marriage. She flees the compound accompanied by her cousin Mr. Will, to the bright lights of Las Vegas in search of the Singer of The Nerves classic ‘Hanging on the Telephone’, who she believes is the father of her unborn child. Dazzled by the many lights the oddball pair reluctantly follow a group of skaters headed by the degenerate Clyde, on a journey of self-discovery.
Beautiful cinematography paired with cleaver editing makes Rebecca Thomas’s Fish-out-of-water tale a humorous offering from the first time writer/director. Fortunately blessed with great performances from a cast to be looked out for in the future, Martha Marcy May Marlene’s Julia Garner plays the innocent Rachael, Mean Creek star Rory Culkin plays the immoral lost boy Clyde. But the arguable scene-stealer Liam Aiken, provides the performance that shines brighter than the rest as Rachael’s stern cousin Mr.Will.
Thomas, a Mormon herself, presents a compelling feature that acts as a narrative about youthful rebellion rather than a religious parallel. Utilizing the vast space and landscapes surrounding Las Vegas. The director of Electrick Children is a fresh new voice in the world of indie filmmaking. Screaming at the top of its lungs, I can’t help feeling that this voice is not entirely sure on what it is saying.
Director: Rebecca Thomas
Cast: Bill Sage, Billy Zane, Cynthia Watros, Julia Garner, Liam Aiken, Rory Culkin
Runtime: 96 mins