If you needed one reason to watch this film then simply know that it Stars Adam Pearson. If you do not know who Adam is well he is someone we should all be familiar with. Adam is an actor, researcher, presenter and activist. He has dedicated his life to help fight against the stigma of deformities and hopefully prevent the bullying he has endured his entire life. His best known acting work would be in Under The Skin but he has also presented and help create the BBC Three documentaries, Adam Pearson: Freak Show and The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime, and appeared as a reporter in the Channel 4. He is a truly remarkable individual and one that deserves better than what he gets. And I do not mean this as a form of pity, simply stating a fact.
So going into this I thought well this looks interesting, maybe I should check on IMDB to see what the film is about?
This is what it had to say:
“A beautiful actress struggles to connect with her disfigured co-star on the set of a European auteur’s English-language debut.”
That sounded simple enough and for some reason I assumed I would get some Hollywood fairy tale type film but Lord I was completely wrong. this is truly a film like no other. On the surface level this review is accurate but when you get down to the nitty-gritty it is so much more.
So I intend to give you all a far more accurate summary of this film. First off yes this is a movie within a movie. It stars the delightful Jess Wexler as Mabel Fairchild the beautiful and talented famous actress who is slumming it in and indie pic directed by a Werner Herzog Wannabe (I feel that is all of us) simply known as Herr Director. Fun fact Charlie Kosmos who plays the director is a former child actor who was in the 1991 classic Hook.
Herr Director has gathered a cast of, forgive the term, misfits together at an abandoned hospital. This cast includes an extremely tall man, a pair of conjoined twins a bearded lady and Rosenthal played by Adam Pearson. Right off the bat this movie has made a bold statement about looks because let’s face it in Hollywood you are not going to make it, if you do not look like a beautiful person. Do not get me wrong there are less attractive people who can do well in Hollywood but you wont do well unless you look “normal”.
The film continues to hammer this home with the two leads discussing representation when one is speaking about having an agent the other is talking about being represented to the wider world. At this point you would be forgiven if you though the message was heaving handed, but really is it?
We never think about this and that does not make us bad people, but this film has come along at a cross roads in the entertainment industry, one where we are pushing for more representation and let us hope that continues.
Still this film goes way beyond it’s simple message, eventually it begins to blur the lines between reality, fiction and even dream and that is what makes it so great. But this could be it’s down fall too, the movie is going to challenge you in so many ways but sadly most viewers cannot handle that and honestly that sucks. But if you have come this far I feel like you will be the kind of human who likes to be challenged and will not only enjoy Chained For Life, but be rewarded by it too.
I do hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did.