Many film critics agree that Daughter of God, released in 2016, is a “thriller with an unfortunate fate.” This work received conflicting ratings and reviews, and the plot of the picture can be interpreted in different ways. Let’s figure out how the film “Daughter of God” was created and what meaning was invested in it.
Plot of the film
Young and pretty girl Isabel of Hispanic origin has been living in New York for a long time, but almost all the time she speaks Spanish. She understands little English, and does not consider it particularly necessary to learn it. Why, if everyone around her already perfectly understands what she says? She spends a lot of time with her husband’s family, while the husband himself went to war. Isabel often calls her husband via video call. She works in a kindergarten where she talks about the Devil and God to little children who speak Spanish.
One day, this charming and deeply religious girl sees something that is not amenable to scientific explanation. As if out of nowhere, she sees the figure of a rather frightening man of enormous size. The man has a gray beard and white hair. He pauses for a moment on a subway platform, looking out for a train that is about to arrive. Then, as if floating in the air, he moves deep into the tunnel, from where he soon returns in the same way. Soon the train stops at the station. The enigmatic stranger gets into it and drives away, with a quick glance at the surprised Isabel.
The young lady cannot forget what happened, enthusiastically talking about what happened to everyone who meets on her way. This is not the last image that she happens to see: over time, she begins to notice unusual figures everywhere, similar to people, but behaving completely differently.
On the very night Isabel first has a vision, Detective Galban’s buddy is murdered in town. The authorities do not want the death to be investigated, because then unflattering information about the deceased would be revealed. Once he abused Isabel’s brother-in-law during interrogation, and now all suspicions fall on the offended. But all suspicions should have been ignored, because such details should not be spread. But Detective Galban is determined to find the truth…
The history of the creation of the picture and its meaning
When director Ji Malik Linton from New York conceived the idea for his first full-length film, the picture was an action-drama with mystical elements and some hints of a thriller. Initially, the director chose an honest description of the life of people in the Spanish-speaking regions of the States as the main theme of his work. A similar topic is rarely touched upon in Hollywood cinema.
The storyline that was connected to Detective Galban was not originally intended to be the focus of the viewer. Although she, as planned by Linton, was important for the development of the events of the picture, her timing was extremely small. The director wanted to put Isabelle at the head of the table.
But, being connected to the filming, the Lionsgate studio began to dictate its vision for this project. Linton, like the people representing him, has repeatedly protested against the decisions that were made regarding the original idea. But the studio viewed the film more for financial gain than as a work of art that raises important social issues.
From the film, it was decided to make a thriller focused on the ups and downs of the police. Therefore, many episodes that showed the originality and special flavor of the Hispanic culture were simply removed from the film. Instead, they increased the time allotted for the scenes with Detective Galban, who was originally conceived as a supporting character. The thing is that the famous Keanu Reeves played the detective. As it seemed to the studio, the more Reeves was on the screen, the more likely the commercial success of the project would be.
These changes were so offensive to Linton that he decided not to even put his real name in the credits. Instead, the director is introduced under the pseudonym Declan Dale. We cannot say with certainty that the original idea was a brilliant creation, but it was clearly better than what happened in the end. Even the game of the talented Reeves in this film leaves much to be desired: it seems that the hero constantly wants to sleep.
As we can see, the opinions of the director with his team and the Lionsgate studio regarding the significance of the storylines and the meaning of the picture as a whole diverged greatly. This led to the fact that the intended plot was not adequately disclosed, and the film did not receive too much attention from the viewer. And if there was such attention, then it is more likely due to the fact that famous actors starred in the film, and not to the fact that the viewer was strongly hooked by the plot.
Thus, the film “Daughter of God”, even though it is not without a number of advantages, does not in any way draw on a masterpiece of cinematography. The studio first of all thought about how successful the project would be from a commercial point of view. Therefore, the meaning conceived by the director did not find the proper embodiment.