Review by Jude Felton
Director David Schwimmer’s previous feature film outing behind the camera was Run, Fatboy, Run and that film and Trust could not be any further apart from each, in tone or execution. If Run, Fatboy played into the Schwimmer we all know from Friends, yet it is one and the very same, with its heavy reliance on comedy, Trust seems to be the director showing his serious side, and a very serious side at that.
Just about all of us rely on the internet for reason or another, whether it be to pay bills, bullshit with friends, surf for information or in some cases to meet people. It’s there and it has come to dominate so many aspects of life. So, when for her 14th birthday Annie (Liana Liberato) receives a new computer from her parents, played by Clive Owen and Catherine Keener, she couldn’t be more happy.
As it turns out Annie has herself an online boyfriend, of course she does, and they are in constant chat with each other. He gives her advice and reassurance and basically tells her everything she wants to hear. Bit by bit though as he reveals more about himself it becomes apparent that he isn’t quite as he initially seemed. Still, this does not stop Annie wanting to meet her new boyfriend in person.
Trust is a brutally unflinching movie that shows more than one side to the potential horrors that lurk on the internet. On one side we get to see the suffering, and consequences, that Annie endures and on the other side her parents helplessness, anger and frustration at what transpires.
Trust could quite easily have been either a preachy movie warning parents of the evils of going online or it could have gone down the weepy woe-is-me route of storytelling. Fortunately Schwimmer allows neither of these to happen, and only in the very latter stages does it get a little melodramatic. Aside from that the story is told, and acted out, very convincingly, with Schwimmer keeping his hands firmly on the reins.
The two real stars of the movie are Liberato, who gives a convincing performance as Annie, and Owen as the vengeance-fuelled father. Both of them form the backbone to this chilling tale.
I honestly thought this was a quite terrific movie. There was the odd question I asked myself whilst watching it, such as why the hell did the parents give Annie, who is14, a cellphone without having an itemized bill sent through to them each month? But it is the main story itself that sells the movie and that is where it succeeds.
The film itself does bare some comparisons with the movie Megan is Missing, and although that film is far more brutal in its execution, I wouldn’t recommend watching the two back-to-back. As a parent you probably wouldn’t let your children within two miles of an internet connection.
Overall, Schwimmer has delivered a very good movie that I recommend you check out given the chance. It is a bleak, in fact I don’t recall many, if any, moments of levity throughout its running time, and chilling cautionary tale that you’ll be thinking about long after it finishes.
Trust is available now on Blu-ray and DVD through Millennium Entertainment.