Directed by: Kalainithan Kalaichelvan
Written by: Kalainithan Kalaichelvan
Length: 9 minutes
NEED A REVIEW?
Click here to get one.
Lots of people think that pedophilia is a mental sickness, that is slowly spreading across the world. In the world of today, it's almost everywhere. Creeping into our lives like the scourge it is. With the internet being what it is, these "people" are finding it easier and easier, to do and share this taboo and frankly horrific behavior. There are even those who think it's natural, and not wrong in the slightest bit. I won't even touch on that thought process in this critique, but am sickly aware of it.
I'm of the belief that pedophilia has always been present. Always hiding just out of sight. With that train of thought, it really hasn't been spreading anywhere. It's "always" been everywhere. The only difference is that today, these "people" can connect easier. That damned internet thing again.
"Inland Freaks" explores the idea of help for those afflicted with pedophilia and yes, I'm one of those who think pedophilia "is" an illness. What makes this title interesting, is that it tackles the people who know they are sick, want to get help, but have never committed a crime. Nowhere in this title did I find any true mention that any of the volunteers, actually committed any crimes against children. So this "hospital" of sorts is for those that want to heal themselves before anything bad happens. There are no good guys in this short film. Unless you consider that maybe they are "all" good guys, because they want to get help before hand. Kalainithan Kalaichelvan's film plays with the idea of treatment but more importantly, it plays with the idea of being punished before the crime. It's a tough sell. Even for those who agree we have a court system for a reason. Considering the fact that the volunteers are incarcerating themselves, because they know the potential for crime is there, it's hard to feel sorry for them. How do you feel sorry for the man who you "know" is going to abuse a child; even if they haven't done it yet?
Don't kid yourself into thinking "Inland Freaks" is going to be cut and dry by any means. The "treatments" prescribed to these individuals really do get you thinking though. In this title, the sick are treated as if they have already committed a crime. They are told, quite emotionally, that they are mistakes of God. That they should never be allowed even the most basic of things in life. A home. Friends. Nothing. This sounds about right, for anyone who has "actually" committed a crime. These people though, have yet to do anything wrong. They simply want help with their desires. How often have you thought of doing something? Knowing full well you never would. This is even stated by the people in this film. That they never "actually" would act on their desires. This is where "Inland Freaks" becomes interesting, taking me back to that punishment before crime scenario. It really does make you think, and although you may never fully feel "sorry" for this group of sick characters, you may come close. I suppose it all comes down to rights and freedoms for anyone who has not done anything wrong.
"Inland Freaks" is a title that not only looks good, but really makes you think about awkward things and situations. Something that almost any filmmaker goes for, when dealing with taboo topics. Had it been mentioned, that even one of this motley crew of people had "actually" acted on their desires, things would be different. Since they hadn't, seeing speakers come in and tell them they are nothing, seeing them treated as criminals. was really hard to wrap my head around. I can't say for a second I outright felt sorry for these men - but knowing they may never commit a crime ever, and still see them treated this way was tough. You may even entertain the notion that treating them like criminals, may actually make them act on their desires. What a great idea for a film, executed right and proper. Oh - and in case you're wondering, the cast portraying these characters were believable. That makes things all the more scarier.