Ever since the internet & online chatting became popular the thrill of meeting total strangers who later become your friends has been real. Also the fantasy of meeting your true love / soulmate online and then meeting them in real life, getting married was flamed. I know quite a few people who hooked up with guys/girls they met on on online chat and in some cases they do get married and live happily ever since then. I will let you know about my own trysts with online chat from a few years ago and what I think of it.

The negative aspects of online chatting and getting too involved with it and naively believing whatever they tell you about them. People can easily lie about themselves as you don’t have to give out your real information when you create an account to chat online. In this year I don’t have to explain to you as to what can possibly happen but the movie Trust shows you exactly what can happen, when a young mind is caught up in a predator’s trap and the consequences that follow. Trust is a movie directed by David Schwimmer (yes Ross Geller from Friends) based on a screenplay by Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger and starsĀ Clive Owen, Catherine KeenerĀ andĀ Liana Liberato.

The story is simple; Annie (Liane Liberato) is a happy 14 year old living in suburban Chicago, the middle child of Will (Clive Owen) & Lynn Cameron. Annie is gifted a laptop for her birthday and while on a chatroom, she meets a 16 year old boy who calls himself Charlie. The two of them bond over messages and chats and even share photographs (in which Charlie sends some young boy’s pics). Annie tells her parents about this “dream boy” who lives all the way over in California. Over time Charlie confesses that he is actually older than 16; first he bumps his age to 20 and then 25. Although disappointed at first Annie has begun to fall in love with this person. She finally agrees to meet with him at a mall but is shocked to find a 35 year old man! She cries at this betrayal & lying about his age but Charlie manages to win her over by saying that age shouldn’t matter and complimenting her on her looks. She agrees to go to his hotel room where he coaxes her to model a red lingerie for her and he rape her, while secretly filming it.

Annie confides in her best friend Brittany who is shocked at this revelation and tells the school counselor who calls Will & Lynn and the FBI, who starts an information. Her distraught father starts his own investigation while the FBI agents gets Annie to contact Charlie and try to track him bu he gets onto it and disconnects the call. Annie is furious at Brittany for betraying her confidence and still says that she loves Charlie. The collected DNA although not identifying Charlie’s real identity connect him to 3 other girls who he also raped in the same manner. On seeing their photos Annie cries & complains that they aren’t really pretty and is devastated as she wasn’t really the special girl he claimed her to be. This finally gets her to admit that yes she was raped. When she goes online to find a website in which people make fun of her rape, posting an image of her head pasted onto a pornographic picture, even giving out her address and phone number.

This pushes her over the edge and she swallows a lot of pills in an attempt at suicide but is saved by her father. Ā Her friend Brittany spends the night to keep her company mending their broken friendship. The next morning Annie finds her father, who had been really aggressive in his hunt for finding the molester, even straining his relationship with his wife & daughter in the process, sitting in the cold outside.

Will begins talking to her, reminiscing about the first time she ever got in the family pool, and how brave she was to do it. He tells her that she used to be confident, and nothing frightened her. He admired the way she loved the world and trusted the people in it and how now all that has changed. He weeps and pleads for forgiveness even though he believes he does not deserve it. Annie starts to cry, choosing to embrace him believing she finally got her father back. As the credits roll, a home video reveals Charlie to be a high school physics teacher named Graham Weston, a married father of a young son.

Watching this movie with some really powerful acting by the main leads, especially Liberato who is just awesome, reminds you of the dangers in society and the real dangers that parents face when their children are online. Well acted, well made movie that tells a heart-breaking story about family. For these reasons, I’m giving it a 9 out of 10!

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