Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"More Than Chance" - Movie Review

When I sat down last night to write this I was intending on writing about our wonderful weekend camping with the adoption group.  But as usual I didn't get any sleep the night before and mustering up the energy to write details about my son was not happening.  So I decided to "relax" and watch a movie!!  Little did I know it was NOT relaxing!!

Russia in 2000...  On the porch with a woman holding a baby.  She is poor and needs to get help since we see she has an infant she cannot afford.  Her friend sitting next to her explains that God will provide and everything will work out.  We flash forward to the year 2002 at an orphanage.  A man and his wife are shown traveling to Russia to adopt this little girl, clearly the little girl from the porch. We now go to Ohio and within the next few minutes we find out very quickly that the adoptive father was not interested in this adoption and when he is left alone with his daughter one night, he loses his temper and chokes her so hard he breaks her neck leaving her a paraplegic.

WOW! So here is what I am thinking so far.  At this point in the story I should be engaged enough to feel something for the dad or the child or the wife.  NOPE.  The scenes are way too short and don’t give you enough to really understand why the father would just lose control so fast.  The little girl, Kelsey, was playing on her drums in front of TV and he just says be quiet or I’ll show you how to be quiet.  I am not condoning this act. What I am trying to say is that if your going to show this violent act lets lead up to it so we feel something besides just shock that it happened within a few minutes of the story starting. Last note before I continue – the little two year old we see in the orphanage is blonde and pale skinned.  As we get through the next scene we have a young girl with black hair and very dark skin. I guess they didn’t have enough money to casting for continuity!! 

Ok lets continue…

Kelsey is now in the home of foster parents who have had experience with this type of disability since they had Stacy.  Just so you know we don't ever find out who Stacy is but they mention her many times.  Moving on… The foster mother sits with the social worker in charge of the Kelsey case and they argue about the best placement for her. After the social worker leaves with no resolution that I could see, the foster parents have dinner with friends and let them know that they are considering adopting again.

Ok let’s stop here for a minute.  I'm so confused again!  When did they adopt a child before this? Was it Stacy?  The story is jumping around and they seem to mention the word adoption a lot and Kelsey was in a foreign country and doesn’t speak the language and she was mistreated.  Ok that part of the story they were getting sort of correct.  The story never finishes a scene. The social worker was there and said they would decide on her placement but then we see Kelsey is grown up in the next scene.  So I guess they allowed her to stay with the foster parents… oh boy can't wait to see what happens next.

We go to the adoptive father in court.  The little girl, Kelsey, is now about 8. She waits outside the courtroom door by herself in her wheelchair.  The judge speaks to the father explaining to him the horrifying trauma that he inflicted on the little girl deserves two consecutive terms for his erroneous acts against her.

Ok that was the best part of the movie so far.  They even got the legal wording correct in that speech.  But don't get me started on the acting.

We now move onto Kelsey.  Since she is older now, her character is brought in more to the story. We learn that she goes to OT and doctors appointments.  While at an appointment she meets an OT assistant that is a troubled teen.  Kelsey and her have a weird conversation in one of the offices at therapy and the scene abruptly ends.

Here we go again! The scenes keep moving on and on with them ending suddenly with no point or resolution.  It’s kind of obvious that the two will become good friends. What a terrible script.  But just like my last review of “A Deadly Adoption”, I am going to watch until the end to see what happens.

To give you an idea of how choppy the scenes are: In one scene we see the foster mother sitting on the sofa talking with a young girl, about 10 years of age.  In the conversation we learn that this is the foster parents newly adopted child!!  Wait what?  The foster mother is explaining why they don’t get to spend time with her; that Kelsey needs them right now. Then the scene ends!  We never see that young girl again.

Kelsey and Melissa, the OT assistant, bump into each other in the next few scenes.  They are starting to open up to one another.  Kelsey is trying to be a ballerina and Melissa a basketball player. 

By now I am starting to get confused again since we start seeing more characters and more scenes that make no sense being there. Friends of Melissa dealing with life and never really seeing the daily trauma that Kelsey is going through.

I don’t need to go into details about the next few scenes.  They are random and to me they were not part of the main plot line of the adoption, the violent act and learning.  Finally, we have a pivotal scene when the adoptive mom comes to visit the foster mom. It's sad to hear the adoptive mom say she always wanted to be a mom and she wanted to give Kelsey a better life.  The foster mom was so sweet and ended the scene by saying “you can come see Kelsey whenever you’re ready”.

The movie ends with Kelsey being able to walk unassisted with crutches for disabled children and leg braces.  It was actually nice to see there was a good ending.

Now for the shocker!  It’s a TRUE story! The young girl playing Kelsey is playing herself!  EEEEK!  Sorry for the spoiler but I couldn’t believe it.  What a terrible film!  I am saddened that the writing was so poor and the acting so bad that I couldn’t feel anything for anyone.  After the credits we see the real life foster parents and their family.

Kelsey does a small PSA (public service announcement) on adoption abuse. They state the statistics on child abuse and almost 5 children a day die from abuse.

The idea of the writer was there, but she should have stuck to the story of Kelsey and not introduce any other characters besides family and maybe therapists.  After reading the true story, I was shocked to find out that the foster parents have three biological children and six adopted children with special needs! If the writer stuck to the true story it would have been much better!!


Written by Chemene
Group Co-leader
Adoptive mom

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#kelsey #russia #adoption #trauma #infant #ohio #abuse #disabled

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