Criticism of “The orphan: the origin”, the past of the cursed girl with Isabelle Fuhrman

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

At the beginning of 2020, the start of production on Esther was announced, a film that would reveal several of the secrets of the mysterious character we met in The orphan (Orphan, 2009). The surprise and emotion of the fans was noted through social networks. Although the film did not receive the best reviews from the specialized press at the time, the story remains in the retina of each viewer who immerses himself in this tiny hell in winter. Under the name of The orphan: the origin (Orphan: First Kill, 2022), this prequel has already come to light and the sensations are as strange as they are uncomfortable.

One of the great successes The orphan was the inclusion of an actress barely twelve years old to play the villain of the story. At that age, she personified an apparent nine-year-old Russian girl who was actually a thirty-three-year-old mature woman with growth problems. That discovery, which occurs at the entrance to the last stage of the film, was a shock that worked like a well thought out twist. Taking advantage of the complexity of the character, and knowing how much can be explored, the new story goes back to 2007 in Estonia to tell us the events prior to the 2009 feature film.

One of the most interesting points of The orphan: the origin is that Isabelle Fuhrman returns to embody Esther. This is striking and risky: the actress is now twenty-five years old and returns in the skin of an infanta. The result is not encouraging at all. The passage of time is noticeable and the interpretation of the apparent girl is very forced due to the physical growth of the actress. Although this may be an incentive for the general public, it reveals very noticeable shortcomings as the scenes unfold.

The film presents different editing and continuity problems. Its director, William Brent Bell (The boy), play with fire. Close-up shots of Esther have Fuhrman herself at the center. On the other hand, when opening them, the protagonist is almost always shown with her back to the action being played (and here she is) by a little girl. This brings with it unconnected, bizarre and delirious scenes. For example, without preamble, we will see Esther driving a car to the rhythm of the musical theme “Maniac” and smoking a cigarette. A wink to the viewers that is cut off abruptly, without meaning, making us think that the course does not have to be that way.

Taking these factors into account, and knowing that Fuhrman’s height is 1.61 meters, the choice of the cast is also an issue to pay attention to. For the father, Rossif Sutherland (Possessor), Kiefer’s half-brother. Her height of him? 1.96 meters. This decision explains in terms of the context and positioning of the interpreters on stage, where the father-daughter bond is one of the condiments that seeks to generate the most attraction. As for the role of the mother, Julia Stiles (Mona Lisa’s smile) and, although she is correct, her character is so confused that it baffles and repels us.

The orphan it was awkward. Impossible not to be shocking that a girl (although we know that the character is an adult) decides to seduce her father. However, this film was not grotesque or bizarre. Through subtlety, without telling us much, he managed to build an unbeatable story that is valued even more after the passage of time.

Years later, this prequel seeks to expand the character, but its result is not entirely satisfactory. His giddy start, his abrupt way of narrating events and poor technical decisions form a negative combo. However, far from taking us away from the big screen, these seasonings are opposed to an entertaining and attractive story that (intentionally?) is unlikely.

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