‘Prodigy’: A Character-Focused, Indie Take on the Superhero Sub-Genre

prodigy richard neil savannah liles - ‘Prodigy’: A Character-Focused, Indie Take on the Superhero Sub-Genre


Whether you matured with Firestarter, X-Men, or Stranger Things, it’s nearly difficult to have actually left the sub-genre of superhero storytelling. Individuals are interested with the restrictions of the human condition and cannot appear to obtain enough stories about those imaginary folk amongst us who have actually gone beyond these limitations. If this were to occur in truth, how would the “Normals” amongst us really react? Would it be with open-armed approval, zealous praise on the level of faith, or outright hostility and contempt? If our present world is any sign, the latter alternative is the most likely, which’s precisely what the brand-new indie movie Prodigy tries to check out.

The function directorial launching from co-writers/co-directors Alex Haughey and Brian Vidal has a familiar property: A misconstrued and unnaturally effective girl end up in the custody of federal government authorities and researchers who have actually put her on lockdown in order to find the trick to her capabilities and, as a mask for their own worry and hatred of “The Other”, for the security and security of innocent civilians. The research study group’s last ditch effort to break the extremely smart, harmful, and abrasively antagonistic kid is to generate a psychologist who concentrates on dealing with kids and generates some psychological luggage of his own. The “Indie” badge is extremely strong with Prodigy, for great and for ill, however it is successful rather well in narrowing the focus to a character level, something big-budget action photos hardly ever do.

The movie stars Richard Neil, Savannah Liles, Jolene Andersen, Emilio Palame, David Linski, Harvey Q. Johnson, and Aral Gribble Prodigy likewise includes Director of Photography/Executive Producer Hisonni Johnson, whose amazing work we’ve included here prior to. It’s offered now on iTunes, DVD and online. Here’s a tease for Prodigy prior to we enter into the evaluation:

To state excessive about the gradually unfolding plot information of Prodigy would be to rob you of the experience of finding those exposes, so it’ll be adequate to state that the movie’s 80- minute runtime is paced simply quick sufficient to keep you glued to the screen to see exactly what takes place next. While the restrictions of an indie movie are felt here– budget plan limitations, reasonably couple of areas and sets, and difficult options when it comes to unique results– those imperfections are far surpassed by the movie’s strengths. The choice to focus the story on the establishing relationship in between kid prodigy/powerful danger Ellie ( Savannah Liles) and the mentally jeopardized kid psychologist James Fonda ( Richard Neil) is exactly what makes Prodigy worth the watch. That’s something that big-budget, franchise images hardly ever put in the time to establish, compromising extremely human interactions for superhuman screens of effective capabilities.

Now that’s not to state Prodigy skimps on the great; vice versa. Ellie’s powers might not be groundbreaking, however they’re utilized to accent critical minutes in the informing of the story and, when they’re shown, they feel effective. You can comprehend why the simple mortals observing from another space behind shatterproof glass and an ever-present gadget that neutralizes her capabilities (by causing discomfort) are so scared for their lives. But Dr. Fonda wants to stroll into a shared area with Ellie, after taking the force of these powers first-hand, to treat her as a client, a person, and above all else, a kid who has all the typical worries, unpredictabilities, and confusion that each human does. That’s the type in reaching Ellie, however whether Fonda can do so prior to time goes out and the research study group turn to more ruthless strategies … well, that’s for you to discover.


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Though you might not acknowledge the names or faces of Prodigy, the cast is appropriate to their jobs. Neil seems like a mix of Albert Brooks and James Remar, and his character’s simple nature and openness make him quickly pleasant. Fonda’s warm-hearted temperament belies a, agonizing dispute at his core, and Neil pulls this off very well. There were times I wished to see a bit more dynamism from his character, however Fonda’s simply not composed that method. Playing opposite his calm and cool outside is the extremely qualified and intense Liles as Ellie, the title character. It takes some genuine self-confidence in your script and your cast to put the bulk of the story on the shoulders of such a young star– particularly when she’s asked to basically be offered the Hannibal Lecter treatment for much of the motion picture– however Liles is a force to be considered. There’s a clear contrast to be made to a young Drew Barrymore here and Liles would fit right in with a Stranger Things– type cast if they altered a couple of years more youthful. If you’re as engaged with the relationship establishing in between Fonda and Ellie as I was, you’ll definitely delight in Prodigy

Coloring the remainder of the movie are the supporting characters typically seeing from the exterior. Everybody plays their part well, however there are a few standouts. Jolene Andersen is completely great as the federal government representative/ sorta love interest for Fonda who pulls him into the case, however I never ever rather felt a romantic connection in between the 2 of them. (There’s likewise a rather perplexing scene in between her character and Palame’s hard-nosed colonel that simply felt off.) David Linski‘s psychiatrist Keaton doesn’ t get to do a horrible lot other than offer a bridge in between opposing sides as soon as the research study group begins to fall out of favor with the colonel. Harvey Q. Johnson‘s molecular biologist/biochemist Werner is an enjoyable addition who’ s one part Giancarlo Esposito‘s cold and removed Breaking Bad character Gustavo Fring and one part disinfected scientist/spectre of death.


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The genuine standouts for me were Emilio Palame‘s overstressed and under-supported Colonel Birch, who takes it upon himself to presume complete obligation for the task and its result; much better to take one life to secure the innocent than to suffer mass casualties as an outcome of a weak will. Palame handles to manage power relocations without scene-chewing, a difficult act for anybody to manage. And in a wonderful surprise, Aral Gribble‘s a little tropey tech person Ryan McCrosky includes some levity to the combine with spot-on shipments and extremely amusing physical funny. It’s simply enough to keep the plot from getting slowed down while completing the cast of supporting characters and including another layer to the entire thing. Strong work, all around.

Prodigy is successful where big-budget superhero movies can not by focusing resources onto the interaction in between a mentally jeopardized Dr. Fonda and his young, susceptible, however paradoxically extremely effective client, Ellie. It feels earnest in its dispute, leaving you with a supreme resolution that’s made through that shared vulnerability. That’s something just indie movies like Prodigy have the self-confidence to deal with due to the fact that they cannot conceal behind the pricey bells and whistles of studio fare. Look for out Prodigy for a rejuvenating spin on a familiar tale; you’ll be grateful you did!

Rating: B-

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