The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

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The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

Christine (2016) | Review

The 2016 movie Christine, directed by Antonio Campos and written by Craig Shilowich, poorly depicts the true story of Christine Chubbuck, played by Rebecca Hill, as she struggles in her personal and professional life. This biography was released on October 14, 2016.

The most concise way to describe the movie is wonderfully directed but tragically written. Viewers are presented with beautiful visuals and even better acting from Rebecca Hill but with undeveloped and flat characters. 

Christine cannot seem to catch a break, but the movie depicts her life in a nothing but depressing manner until Christine succumbs to her depression. Christine battles with her own morals as she tries to get ahead as a broadcast journalist while working at a local TV station. Throughout, she also deals with the conflicts of living with her mother, unrequited love and health problems. The writing begins to fall flat here, though, as her problems begin to overshadow her character. 

The complex and deep idea of depression and feeling suicidal is not explored in the movie. The film incorrectly equates depression with sadness. Additionally, it makes it seem that Christine was only suicidal because of the things that happened to her, which does not line up to the true story or with parts of the movie that say otherwise. Depression is much better depicted and explored in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The character that experiences depression in The Perks of Being a Wallflower has despicable things happen to him, but those things do not define him nor his depression, unlike Christine. 

This is not to say that Hill’s acting was subpar, however. She gives a chilling and incredibly realistic performance as Christine and does a tremendous job at depicting depression, especially considering the writing she had to work with. 

The movie’s visuals do a stellar job of aiding the depressing tone of the story. The slightly blue-toned lighting and a mix of wide and close shots help the audience view the world the same way depressed Christine does. However, the soundtrack takes away from the technical aspects of the film that are done well. With little to no music, the slow and depressing nature of the movie borders on boring at times. The few times music is present in the movie, it is diegetic, which ends up being upbeat ’70s music that takes the viewers out of the movie. 

For a movie named after the female protagonist, so much of the writing depends on the male characters in her life. The film finds a way to connect all of her struggles back to a man, even when she begins to have serious health problems with her period. It was abundantly clear within the first few minutes of the movie that it was made by men, which ended up depicting Christine as surface-level and missing out on the complexity of a real person. 

After a tragic ending for Christine, the last few minutes of the movie could not be more confusing and anticlimactic. The acting done by the supporting actresses J. Smith-Cameron and Maria Dizzia are thrilling, but the writing once again ruins the experience, which is a common theme for this movie. 

While it is not all bad, this movie is not worth the two hours it takes to watch. The nature of the story, in theory, makes an interesting and nuanced movie, however the execution was not there for Christine.

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About the Contributor
Emma Weintraub, Lifestyle Editor and Podcaster