The concept of flawless is a myth. It’s the imperfections that come together to arrive at complete and absolute perfection. ‘Troop Zero’, an Amazon Prime original feature film, launched on the 17th of January 2020.
The film is premised in the ’70s, in Wiggly, Georgia, at a time where children were simply children, and went all out to find themselves; complete without any access to gadgets. Christmas Flint (McKenna Grace) is a young sci-fi enthusiast who’s fascinated by anything to do with outer space. While most kids at school treat her as an outcast owing to lesser effeminate ways, this young girl is usually absorbed in her books, exploring something, or connecting (unsuccessfully) to creatures in outer space.
One day while at school, an Indian gentleman from NASA pays a visit, encouraging kids to participate in a certain competition that is held in Jamboree. The winner will get a chance to send their voices to outer space, in a special satellite capsule designed by the people of NASA themselves. Christmas Suddenly finds herself interested and does everything in her power to gather a group of girl scouts, to get to Jamboree. The group formed comprises of absolute misfits and weirdos; so much so, that Joseph isn’t even a girl! In spite of the odds and the numerous roadblocks, the kids seem to make it to Jamboree with the help of Miss Rayleen (Viola Davis). Miss Massey (Allison Janney), does her beat at keeping the group from making it to the top!
The movie is simply refreshing, transporting us back into an era, where kids were KIDS, and not adult minded being devised in small bodies.
The act was simple, there was no racism involved, and the sexism was overcome with sweeter moments of unity and purity. There is an interesting part where the girls from ‘Troop Five’ starts to call Joseph (Charlie Shotwell) all sorts of names, poking fun at him, but the ‘Birdy’s’ from Troop Zero dutifully stand up for him and fight back.
It is interesting to watch how parents allowed their kids space, yet kept a watch on them from the corner of their eye. This is especially true when the kids were left for the night in the woods, and Miss Raylee secretly watches over them. It is here that the kids find themselves, and start bonding with one another for real.
The director duo Bert and Bernie have shown all types of weirdoes yet not all of them have a compelling part to play! The feisty ‘Smash’ (Johanna Colon) is only snarling! She could have been encouraged to use her body language more purposefully!
The dialogues are simple, but the plot takes a little time to evolve progressively. Am afraid to state, but this won’t exactly live up to the incessantly fleeting attention of a child.
It's nice to see that even back in the ’70s kids had a mind of their own and aimed to reach out for the stars for real!
The effect in the last scene, where they show us a flurry of comets is breath-taking indeed! The element of magic is present all through the film but is underlined here.
Overall a cute flick, but an awkwardly patchy and slow-progressing plot. However, I must add that the little stars have put up the best show, to keep an average plot from fading away.