Monday, March 28, 2016
Based on Patricia McCormick's young adult novel exposing child trafficing in Nepal. We watch as 13 year old Lakshmi is sold and sent to Happiness House in India. Refusing to completely bow down Lakshmi does what she has to survive and to try and escape.
Great looking and well acted film has it's heart in the right place but sadly isn't as hard hitting as it hopes to be. Yes, it is a well made film. Yes, it's a good film. But the problem is that it all looks too good. It feels sanitized. Frankly if we were to take the film on it's own terms it I would say it was a good film, but as the filmmakers will tell you they are trying not to tell a good story but move hearts and minds to stop human trafficking. The film's insistence on being a polemic overtakes the human drama so that I felt like I was being lectured.
I think part of the problem comes from the fact that the film is based on a young adult novel which slightly tempers how far they can take things. We can not get into the real darkness and so much has to be implied. Its a problem that is completely understandable when bolder and more graphic films like the gut wrenching CHILDREN OF THE DARK are so in your face that no one will watch them nor will anyone screen them.(and trust me you do not want to see CHILDREN). It's clear that the filmmakers have taken a gentler path, which while allowing them to find an audience isn't likely to move enough of them to finally end the trafficking.
I genuinely do like the film and it's one that if you're interested in the subject you should see, however for me I wanted to feel like I was gut punched at the end instead of looking for the next thing to watch.
SOLD opensin New York April 1 and in Los Angeles April 8.
SOLD from Oscar-winning Director Jeffrey Brown, Producer Jane Charles and Executive Producer Emma Thompson from Jaya International on Vimeo.