There was a time when there was a trend of Dystopian Science Fiction-themed films adapted from young adult novels (YA) so that finally YA became a special category in Hollywood cinema and all studios competed to make the YA franchise into a blockbuster film. This trend started in the early 2000s with the Harry Potter franchise (2001-2011) and the Twilight Saga (2008-2012). Then in mid 2010-2020 this trend rose again with the appearance of the film Hunger Games (Jennifer Lawrence) which was successfully made up to 4 films (2012-2015), followed by The Maze Runner (2014-2016), The Divergent Series (2014-2017). (For a complete list of films in the YA category that have ever shown in theaters
A long time ago, there is now a film adaptation of the YA novel “The Knive of Letting Go” by Patrick Ness. This film is quite eagerly awaited because it stars several top actors such as Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, and Nick Jonas. This film was actually announced in 2011, after changing several writers and Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity – 2002, Mr. and Ms. Smith – 2005, Edge of Tomorrow – 2014) was announced as director in 2016 before this film found its light. It was originally planned to be released in 2019 but due to unsatisfactory screening tests, it was shifted to release in 2021. The premiere release in South Korea on February 24, 2021 and in the US on March 5, 2021, in Indonesia itself it can be seen in theaters on March 7, 2021. At the box office this film can be said to be a flop,
Chaos Walking is the film adaptation of the first book in a trilogy of novels by Patrick Ness. In this film, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) lives in the city of Prentisstown, which is located on the planet New World with the time setting in 2257 AD, where humans have been looking for a place to live outside the earth and managed to establish a colony on the planet. Todd had been brought up believing that Spackle (a native of the planet) had killed all the women on the planet. On this planet, men experience the phenomenon of “The Noise” – a condition that displays all their conscience/thoughts clearly, allowing everyone to hear each other’s thoughts in the form of images, words, and sounds. Prentisstown is led by Mayor David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen), who has the ability to control noise, which keeps him from being surrounded by the noise of private thoughts. The mayor has an ambitious son, Davy Jr. (Nick Jonas) who is careless and always makes trouble.
One day Todd finds Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who fell to land on his planet. The situation gets more complicated when Todd meets a woman named Viola (Daisy Ridley) who turns out to be stranded on the planet New World. Viola’s arrival also raises various questions and confusion because she does not have the Noise, which was later discovered that women do not experience the phenomenon of The Noise on Planet New World. Viola’s appearance causes conflict with the mayor and residents of Prentisstown because the mayor considers Viola’s presence is the beginning of problems and fears that their colony will be threatened, conflicts begin to arise until Viola’s life is in danger, seeing that Todd tries to save Viola. Did they manage to escape the mayor and the residents of Prentisstown? Was the decision to save the Viola the right one?
During the 109-minute duration of this film, the energy of this film is only in the first quarter of the film, the rest seems to be in free fall and closes with a conclusion that is not satisfying at all. The character introductions and conflict are good at the start but the tension continues to drop even at the climax, this is where the biggest problems arise. The conflict as well as the biggest twist in this film (the answer will reveal why there are no women on the planet New World) seems to deceive the audience, which was already predictable from the beginning of the film but without a clear answer, the audience was still asked to imagine for themselves. – the early life of the colony in Prentisstown when the women were still alive would have been quite helpful. The humor that is inserted also does not help enrich the story much, especially the repetitive and rather boring dialogues. The phenomenon of The Noise is the only interesting thing in this film that fails to be used optimally and creatively so that the end result of this film is like a chase between the protagonist and the antagonist. The conclusion also seems rushed and forced so that those of us who are watching may frown, how can the solution be that easy? (As if the author wanted to finish quickly and was lazy to think again)
In terms of the cast involved, all of them include A-list casts, whose quality can’t be doubted because we’ve often seen them appear in blockbuster films. However, in this film they are like being wasted and trapped in a bad story plot. The chemistry of Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley in this story feels bland and less exciting, especially with the absence of any romance scenes in this film. Nick Jonas who appears as the mayor’s son is not even important and his character can be omitted because it will not interfere with the essence of the story. Mads Mikkelsen is a charismatic actor whose role as a villain in this film is very unattractive in the storytelling of his character, only at the beginning we are given hope that he can become a villain who threatens and will bring trouble to Todd. However, as the story progresses towards the end, the Mads character becomes unattractive and lacks the purpose and charisma that he had at the beginning of the story. The characters of Todd and Viola are not explored at all and it is quite puzzling how Viola can finally trust Todd.
The cinematography and visual effects of this film are quite pleasing to the eye, especially the setting of the place which is mostly set in nature. The Noise effect that each person has is uniquely displayed which is actually interesting if it can be explored further, especially in the characters of Todd and Mayor. Todd’s character is not explained how he finally mastered his noise, with the mayor’s background story explaining how he became adept at controlling noise.
Chaos Walking actually has the potential to continue the trend of the YA genre into a successful film at the box office, but the interpretation into the film adaptation is quite poor and destroys the essence of the original story. This seems to have happened because the script underwent many revisions by several writers (Charlie Kaufman, Jamie Linden, John Lee Hancock, Gary Spinelli, Lindsey Beer, Christopher Ford, and Ness himself). towards maturity, one’s unpreparedness for new things and information that has never been encountered which sometimes causes confusion. In contrast to the film, the novel itself has won almost every category of prestigious children’s fiction awards in the UK, including the Guardian Award in 2008, James Tiptree, Jr. Award, and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Her third book, Monsters of Men won a Carnegie Medal in 2011. The story was praised for its narration of themes such as gender politics, war, and the moral conflict between good and evil presented in a storytelling style that was quick and interesting to follow. This bad start makes the YA genre look like it will be difficult to get popular again. It is quite risky for producers and film studios to work on YA segmentation films because audiences at this age will turn into adults in a relatively short period of time and the character of each generation is largely determined by the time period/decade the film was released. The premature script and the tendency not to be taken seriously made many film adaptations of YA novels which eventually failed and were forgotten,