Rachel is a 15 year old Mormon girl from Utah who, after discovering a mysterious cassette tape containing forbidden rock music (a version of Hanging on the Telephone), falls pregnant and is convinced that the man on that cassette tape was the cause of her immaculate conception.
Her brother, known as Mr Will, is blamed for her being in the family way and is kicked out of the colony. Running away from her parents and her impending arranged marriage she arrives in the nearest city, Las Vegas, where she will start her search for the man who sings on the tape. Mr Will accidently accompanies her. In Vegas she meets Clyde, her unexpected leading man and this is the first step for Rachel towards an eye opening experience of discovery, faith and love.
This quirky indie debut from writer/director Rebecca Thomas, who grew up a Mormon, is fresh and heartwarming. Julia Gerner gives a truly captivating performance as Rachel whose naivety knows no bounds and you can’t help but love her innocence which is cleverly paired with an inspiring maturity. Her angelic looks help enforce her characters dream like consciousness. A performance I am sure will catapult her in to the limelight.
Gerner is supported by Rory Culkin, Clyde, who represents the flip side of the coin. He too is another lost teen struggling in a harsh world who can’t help but be lured in by Rachel’s almost hypnotic wide-eyed world. I enjoyed his performance where he sensitively expresses the characters sadness and vulnerability as a modern youth who longs for innocence.
Mr Will represents the reminder of her Mormon roots for Rachel and Liam Aiken brings along some great comedy moments as he explores the new world he has been presented with.
I understand this won’t be for the masses but it was totally my cup of tea!
Thomas allows for a fair share of mystery around the story exploring morality and faith. There is an array of subtext left for the viewer to mull over along with some fabulous coming of age moments. It’s unconventional but beautifully executed.
The enchantingly quirky Electrick Children opens in New Zealand 8 November from Rialto Distribution.