Chronicle's Andrew Detmer: The Abused Telekinetic

"A lion does not feel guilty when it kills a gazelle, right? You do not feel guilty when you squash a fly... and I think that means something. I just think that really means something." - Andrew Detmer

· 4 min read
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Chronicle is a film about three teenagers who gain the power of telekinesis and bond over how they learn to use their newfound ability.

While it may sound like a superhero plot, it is the furthest concept from what makes this film so unique.

The film's unique selling point lies in how it tells a very personal story of the three boys who each go through extremely different lifestyles and how it creates a rift between their friendships.

There is one character in particular who can be argued to be the main protagonist out of the three.

Andrew Detmer, the telekinetic teenager who had to live in the same house with an abusive father and a mother dying slowly from cancer.

His story has one of the most unique takes on how a teenager may use his powers after having such a rough background.

Anger and shame are his basic emotions

a young boy staring at his monitor as his father walks in

The case of an abused child in the house rings on an intense level in the case of Andrew.

When we are first introduced to his character, he comes off as someone is an introvert and has an emotional barrier against everyone.

The introverted and abused teen is so alienated that he naturally fits into the role of being the prey of many school bullies.

No matter how troubling that may seem, the fact is that Andrew's school life is still far better than his life at home.

His house in which his dad, who was a firefighter, keeps abusing him every day is the main catalyst for the teenager to have such strong negative emotions.

Due to the father being retired as he was injured on the job, he does the bare minimum with whatever savings he has left.

This includes getting medication for the teen's mother, who is dying of cancer.

The powerlessness that Andrew has felt with his situation has driven him to the point of having anger and shame as his base emotions daily.

Unapologetically superior

a young boy crushing a car with telekenisis

Once the abused teen gets a taster of his newfound telekinetic powers, he snowballs into a narcissistic misanthrope.

Of course, Matt and Steve's company kept his personality and antics in check as much as they could. Yet, it became clear that Andrew was never going to change his nature.

Due to his fixation on mastering his powers, his superiority complex was boosted tenfold.

It had come to a point where he stopped observing humans as people but rather as test subjects.

The insanity really started to sink into Mr. Apex Predator once he started pulling teeth out of his previous bully.

Treating him as a test subject for how his powers can work.

The blood on his hands was the last thing that he was concerned about and it showed so clearly that he has become a person who shows off his unapologetic superiority.

Bruised to the point of no repair

a young man stopping bullets in midair in a hospital gown

The telekinetic friends shared a healing vibe for each other.

They cared for each other. They wanted to look out for each other. They were brothers for each other, just not by blood.

Steve was the best out of the three when it came to looking out for the trio. His charm and personality were the glue that held them together in harmony.

Even Andrew, who Steve was most concerned about, had a soft spot for him.

Many may believe that the moment protagonist turned antagonist was when he accidentally killed the glue of the group.

Removing the most positive personality from the equation may have pushed him right over the edge of accepting that he is meant to be an antagonist.

However, another argument can be made that Andrew's breaking point would be when he was denied his father's death.

Matt, his cousin, the closest person he could call family, being the one to save the one person who pushed him to this point may be a stronger moment for the apex predator to fully go transcend to the dark side.

Suffering with success

a man gasping in awe as he watches his cousin stop a baseball with his mind

The abused telekinetic's story is something similar to the story of Midas.

All it took was for him to gain power so that he could better his situation. He wanted friends, his mother, and a life.

Once his father made sure that every single wish of his belonged in the trash, it pushed Andrew to make everything his.  

An obsession to make the word his own. A trapped bird with the power to explode heads in a second.

His success with his mastery over his powers only pushed him away from his actual goal: keeping the people he cares about alive.

The more he got in tune with his power, the lesser the emotion generated.  

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