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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Movie Adaptation Review: Chaos Walking

"It’s strange to see everything you’re thinking."
The Chaos Walking trilogy is a series that I've always wanted to read since a very long time ago because of all the hype that's surrounding it. I finally read all 3 books last year, in 2020, but I ended up not loving it as much as other people did. Last year I was extremely busy with personal life so I didn't write a review for them, instead I only write short reviews here, expressing what I think about them. I was quite surprised when I stumbled upon a movie trailer for Chaos Walking and decided that I'm going to watch it when it comes out. I resolved to write a movie adaptation review to replace the book reviews that I never write. Unfortunately, the movie was a complete chaos and I don't think it represents the book very well. I'm going to explain why in this review, and hopefully I won't be spoiling too much for those of you who haven't read the book or watched the movie 😉.

When I found out that Chaos Walking will be adapted into a movie, I immediately questioned how are they going to portray the concept of the Noise. For those of you who didn't know, in the world of Chaos Walking, men can listen to each other's thoughts and nothing is concealed. In Prentisstown, where our main character lives, there are only men and no women. So it comes as a huge shock when Todd Hewitt (played by Tom Holland), discovered a girl in town, Viola (played by Daisy Ridley). It took me quite a while to get used to the world of Chaos Walking when I read the book, so I was curious how are they going to explain it in a movie. I have to say, the worldbuilding in this movie was all over the place. I watched this movie with my husband (who didn't read the book) and he keeps asking me a lot of questions about things he didn't understand 😅. In the movie, the Noise swirls around their heads in a purple-blue haze. I think this portrayal was quite okay; but it's pretty annoying at times because thoughts are very noisy 🤣. The bigger problem is in introducing the world of Chaos Walking. We're suddenly thrown into this town, with no proper introduction to all of the characters. I tried thinking from the perspective of someone who didn't read the book and I got very confused.

For a movie that's only 1 hour 50 minutes long, I think it tried to get as much storyline as possible in that short amount of time. As I was watching, I kept questioning 'will there be a sequel to this movie?' because it is rushing so much! The movie changed a lot of things from the book to make it concise, but I think it just makes the story worse than it should've been. Due to the lack of characterization, the relationship between the characters become non-existent. Todd's relationship with his adoptive parents, Ben and Cillian, should've been warm and affectionate, so that their separation would cause an emotional impact to the audience. It's kind of unfortunate for that to happen because I ended up not really caring for the characters too much and doesn't feel the urge to root for them 🤷. Same thing happens with the relationship between Todd and Manchee (his dog). That one's really sad because in the book Manchee had a really heroic and heartbreaking moment that this movie didn't have.

The movie had two villains: Mayor David Prentiss (played by Mads Mikkelsen) and The Preacher / Aaron (played by David Oyelowo). Right from the start, I was baffled by the appearance of Aaron the Preacher who keeps reciting weird things but left it unexplained until the movie ends. On the other hand, the Mayor was portrayed as the strongest man in town because he was able to control his Noise and even control other people's thoughts. For those of you who didn't read the book, I'm sure you will be VERY confused because he keeps saying 'I am the circle and the circle is me'. Like, what the heck, man? 🤷 And for two very menacing villains who seems to be very powerful, they were defeated in a very lame way. I was expecting the battle scenes to be epic but it was certainly not—which is disappointing.

Another major plot point in the books is the existence of Spackle, they are the native inhabitants of New World before humans came. In the movie, Todd and Viola came across a Spackle and had a fight with it. Viola stopped Todd from killing the Spackle but there was no more explanation about that until the end of the movie. I think that scene lasted for less than 5 minutes, which made me question the purpose of showing the Spackle in the first place. There's actually a long history between Spackle and human beings and how the Noise came to be; but none of that was explained in this movie because I don't think there's enough time to cover that much story.

I apologize if this review ended up becoming my personal rant session about the movie 🤣 but it is what I honestly think about this movie adaptation. The actors and actresses actually did a decent job in portraying the characters; but I assume the problem lies in the screenwriting and directing. The concept of the story itself is too complicated to be explained within such a short time. Overall, watching this movie was not a good time for me and it almost felt like a waste of time. I don't think I would recommend this movie to anyone 😅. Even though the books weren't exactly my favorite, I still preferred them way more than the movie adaptation. I feel like if Chaos Walking trilogy were to be made into a TV show and take its' time to do a proper worldbuilding and characterization, it would've been so much better.

by.stefaniesugia♥ .


  1. Ehhh Chaos Walking udah tayang ya Mba? Aku ikut penasaran karena hype banget novelnya tapi emang belom baca sih, rencananya mau nonton filmnya dulu. Tapi, kalo baca reviewnya kayaknya ini akan jadi film yang sulit ya apalagi dengan dunia yang unik tapi gak ada penjelasan yang kokoh unutk menggambarkan bukunya.

    Jadi, menurut Mba Stefani apakah harus baca dulu novelnya supaya paham dengan filmnya?

    1. Aku dulu baca novelnya juga karena hype banget XD Kalo belum baca bukunya dan pengen nonton filmnya dulu menurutku ngga papa sih :D Cuma mungkin filmnya ngga terlalu menggambarkan dengan baik konsep ceritanya. Kalo baca buku setelah nonton film itu ada enaknya karena waktu nonton ngga ada pembanding hahaha XD


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