Messenger From the North

I watch a lot of movies, and I am particular about the themes. I prefer stories about real people and not those of Hollywood gangsters and shoot em ups. Some of that stuff might be going on in the real world, but not to the extent to which writers and movie makers lead us to believe. Maybe I am living in a bubble here on the edge of the mid-west near one of the largest cities in North America. Yes, we have crime, and yes, we have murders, but why make movies about them? Isn’t that reinforcing the bad behavior, i.e. by glorifying it in film?

A few days ago, I came across a movie titled Chloe and Theo. This story had all th elements of a great movie, it was funny, it was sad, it was tragic, and it had a message. The premise of the story is that a tribe of Inuit Indians living on the ice fields of the arctic circle have seen a trend of warming that is shrinking their ice, and forcing the animals inland, and away from their habitat which is the ice and the frigid waters of the arctic. They decide to send a messenger from their tribe to speak to the elders, and to give them a message of pending doom. They pick a single man named Theo not because he is a smart guy, or a diplomat, or a scientist, but because he is the only one in their village who can speak english. The village elders give him a pouch filled with cash to make the trip.

Theo lands in New York and is amazed at the tall buildings the hordes of people, and the noise. He often laments that where he is from there is a simple beauty to the empty, whiteness, and silence of the ice. He checks into a low cost flop-house and goes looking for the elders. Along the way he meets a young woman who is homeless after she recognizes him as an eskimo. She befriends him only because she thinks he is different, and she wants to know all about him. Theo asks her to help him find the elders. She takes him to her tented area in a dilapidated building where many homeless sleep. She introduces him to what she considers to be an elder. He is in reality a informal leader of the homeless group to which she belongs. Theo is not satisfied, so the group begins a brain storming session as to who they should try to get him to see. At first it was the President of the USA, but the idea falls apart when the FBI gets involved and asks too many dumb questions. Eventually, they break from the FBI and return to brainstorming. The elder in the group has a brainstorm, why not take Theo to the United Nations, and the story goes in that direction, but again proves to be fruitless.

Another plot is to introduce him to the producers of a big TV show, and they succeed in getting a meeting with them. The homeless group and Theo enter the building and are getting into an elevator when Theo balks, he wants to walk up the 62 stories to reduce his contribution to the carbon footprint left by the elevator. He walks while the homeless group is waiting for him to arrive. Nerves take over and the producers insist of leaving, but the homeless are persistent and make Theo’s pitch for him. The scene ends with all of them leaving the conference room as Theo finally arrives.

To make this long story shorter I will only say that these characters all made the story believable. Before the end of the film they are successful in finding a way to get Theo’s story to the Elders. They celebrate and give Theo a gift of a pair of shoes to replace the heavy boots he has worn since he left his Northern Village, and as he has always done throughout the story he takes a walk to try his new shoes, and to clear his head. Then something unbelievable happens and the story ends.

This is what I rate a five star film * * * * *

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