By MA Iliasu (Kano state, Nigeria)
Deflection remains one of the prominent cinematic strategies through which watchers could be caught off guard. Which may be a better and more fruitful response to a slow start plot. A watcher could be initially distracted with a line that’s very relatable to the actual storyline, yet very skewed to another angle, in a very well-calculated ploy to ensure that the watcher doesn’t uncover the central thesis of the movie earlier. So that when the watcher does, it’ll be impossible to take eyes off the TV screen. And from that point, everything in the deflective part that has been shown initially, would start to make sense.
Produced by Tripp Vinson’s Vinson Productions, and Directed by Nicholas McCarthy, the plot of The Prodigy takes that dimension, and its fair to say it has worked out perfectly. An initiation about a baby – Miles – that was born with a rare bi-colored eyes, who doesn’t cry upon being needled, and starts uttering words at the earlier months of his birth- which defies normal human cognitive development, doesn’t in anyway gives one the impression of a storyline whose thesis revolves around reincarnation. Despite the genre being Horror. However, the reincarnated dying the same day the baby was born could mean that he possesses the baby during the time he was being given birth to, which warrants such abnormal features in the baby. The two mutually exclusive events could be connected even without proper context.
But I doubt if there’s any watcher that thinks the plot would develop that way. The early signals in Miles – the baby, was more of someone who’ll grow up to be some sort of rare genius, someone with extraordinary physical or cognitive traits, or someone with an unmatchable super-heroic ability. Yet it still does make sense for the plot to heads towards reincarnation, for all the symptoms do cogently justify becoming of such great development, bearing the genre of Horror in mind, as asserts at the end of the previous paragraph.
The movie is flabbergasting as its worthy of every single minute spent on watching it. Not only for the near-perfect delivery of the characters, the sequence of the storyline, the thematic and semantic accentuating, or the terrific tense soundtrack that accompanies every passing scene to leverage the anticipation of horror or otherwise in the head of watcher. Rather for the nature of the story being new and somehow unbelievable to be found in a Hollywood movie, instead of Bollywood or Tollywood movies and other industries of such – that are very familiar with thesis based around reincarnation or any other non-scientifically proven phenomenon, due to extreme cultural beliefs, and obsession towards non-empirical behavioral, sociological and historically significant phenomenon. Yet still seems normal to feature in the industry, as the plot introduces someone who could epistemologically identify a symptom of such and was willing to help cure it, in Arthur, and other important entities relevant to relating such case with other happenings in a mainstream United States, and other countries.
The Prodigy is touching as its interesting. For several instances. One, when parents, especially the mother, have to decide what’s the best for their family in choosing to live with their biological child or sending him away, emotions are bound to rise. So touching. Two, when they must suspect their eight years old son, an age that’s marking the peak of very innocent phase of children’s lifetime, they must be in a difficult position. But to top it all, one of them becoming willing to commit murder to bring her normal son back, rounds up how much The Prodigy means to the parental relationship. Thirdly, it also highlights the flaw of the thesis that suggests no direct cure to the reincarnation disease, except to gamble on killing the target of the reincarnated, which proves costly, unlawful and unethical, and also defied by Scarka – the Hungarian who reincarnated inside Miles, that sometimes fulfilling the target of the reincarnated may not be enough.
The Prodigy doesn’t end, unless the storyline intends to commits another massive deflection as it does at the beginning. Another plot could be developed on why Scarka kills Miles; does he intends to stay reincarnated to achieve other murderous targets, or even live the days he wish he had before he was killed, as Miles, forever. Is Miles truly dead, for no words of Scarka should have any iota of truth in them as suggested by Arthur – the reincarnation expert. What would be the response of Miles’ father who is evidently alive, on a life support in a hospital. Would Sarah also be reincarnated? Who was the escaping victim at the beginning of the movie who resembles Sarah so much? Among other prodigal questions the audience awaits in the future development of the movie.