All films should have a message of some sort, but a film with a real message, a purpose, something that it’s trying to get across, like pollution, slavery or, as in this case, climate change should be a powerful film. There’s a number of ways for this message to manifest such as powerfully, dramatically or emotionally.
Chloe & Theo tells the story of an Inuit called Theo, played by Theo Ikummaq, who is sent to New York to speak with the elders (the leaders) about the damage they are inflicting on the Arctic where he’s from. Obviously he has no way of speaking with the leaders of the free world, or even knowing who they are. But a chance meeting with a homeless girl called Chloe, played by Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), and her gang of misfits leads him to the UN where Monica, Mira Sorvino (Mimic, The Replacement Killers) tries to help get his message on TV.
The problems with the film start with the fact you don’t get drawn into the characters, you just don’t care enough about them. Even the lovely Theo, because of those around him, just comes across as a nice quiet man.
Monica’s reasons for wanting to help are provided in an almost throw-away moment told to just Chloe, no-one else seems to care. The apparent brains behind the homeless-gang, Mr. Sweet, played by Andre De Shields (various TV roles), just appears when he needs to move the plot along.
You then have the message. Had this been a true story, a documentary, it would have been stunning. But it isn’t. And the message it tries to get across, whilst it contains some nice words, isn’t anything we haven’t heard before and, if we’re honest with ourselves, it isn’t anything we don’t really already know.
Whilst Theo’s passage about TV, how it forces us to purchase things we don’t need, covet things that are worthless and has all the power – more so then the leaders, is all true. It’s again a segment that lasts seconds and is never mentioned again. It’s like the writer/director Ezna Sands has taken climate change soundbites and padded them into a movie. Supplying them to a sweet character which, in of itself, feels like exactly what he’s saying not to do.
Chloe & Theo, I’m afraid to say, doesn’t get its message across. I think that’s mainly down to the reason it doesn’t really know what message it’s trying to convey. It gets confused as to whether it’s a movie about climate change or consumerism or that we’re all slaves to TV or just a sweet film about a fish out of water. And with that, you end up with a film that’s not really about anything at all.