By Ameesh Shah
The Family Fang is based on the Novel written by Kevin Wilson, and screen written by David Lindsay-Abaire. The Family Fang is about Baxter Fang (Jason Bateman), and Annie Fang (Nicole Kidman); as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of their parents’. Caleb Fang (Christopher Walken) and Camille Fang (Maryann Plunkett), known for their extreme social experiments. ‘Art where reaction during the moment is the art.”
This movie was enjoyable, slow at first, but once the story is established, in we went. It is a great perspective of how passion might be great for some but wrecks havoc on others. The kids, now grown up fear their parents, they don’t remember why, and this journey of theirs finally helps put the pieces together where it all went wrong.
From here on out there are some spoilers ALERT!!! You’ve Been Warned.
So the story goes, Annie, a risky actress who is all over the place. Gets a call from her brother, a writer blocked novelist, at a hospital who just got shot in the head by a potato gun, while on a news/magazine expose of a group who make potato guns. Out of fear of his parents showing up; Baxter pleads with Annie to join him in his 7-day plight. Caleb and Camille are ecstatic; they wanted to start up the old band so to speak again. But Annie and Caleb looking for a way to stand up to their parents controlling ways refuse. So the Caleb now determined to show them what they are missing sets up this artistic prank, and in this modern day society, it didn’t work. Their knowledge of the ordinary people is now out of touch, and Caleb distraught goes home. Annie and Baxter feel empowered at that moment Camille and Caleb announce their retreat trip. Leaving the siblings at home.
While the parents are saying their goodbyes, Annie comes across Camille’s old art collection which Camille fearfully explains, please hide them from Caleb; he only likes art at the moment, not art that is already dead. After that Camille and Caleb head out and Annie and Baxter continue to enjoy their victory over their parents until Police inform them of their parent's disappearance. Annie begrudgingly looking at her father’s track record doesn’t put it past them to be setting this whole thing up as an elaborate hoax. While Baxter, fed up with the lies and the expectations feel that he wants to give up; in his mind if they’re dead, or pretend to be dead.
So begins Annie’s quest to find her parents to give her a piece of her mind; and Baxter, who wants to help his sister his only remaining family member.
All this searching and video watching is the writer’s way of flashbacks. In the recorded moments you see how much fun the younger siblings had. Then through the memories of Annie and Baxter you see where it all went wrong. The time they where the audience, not the trickster, the moment they realized it could hurt them, and they weren’t always going to be in on the secret.
If the before segment was a spoiler, then this next part truly is. You’ve been warned
Annie and Baxter search through videos. And come to the conclusion that there is Caleb’s mentor to seek out: Hobert played by Harris Yulin. Hobert explains their parents and him had a falling out, and it was in a documentary he made on Caleb and his view of kids and his art piece. From their Annie and Baxter decided to have their yard sale to get rid of their parents from mind and memory. Then just like that, a song that Annie wrote came up on a disc, and they fell back into searching for their parents. That was when they found the camera, found…what they where looking for. After a chat and reconciling the kids had their last stand.
Here Baxter and Annie
Looking back at the Hobart piece, it was there in how Caleb viewed his kids and how Camille viewed hers that created a void in their marriage. This happened to be what led to their decision and eventual breakup, but being artists, Caleb had to go out in his fashion. While Camille an enabler followed along realized she had to find her way back to herself.
Verdict: I rate this movie 4.3 out of 5