Chemical Hearts is a movie about “a high school senior who falls in love with a new transfer student who hides a heartbreaking secret.”
This teen romantic drama is a coming-of-age story that I believe most young people can identify with in some way or another. In “Chemical Hearts,” Henry Page, played by Austin Abrams, falls in love with the transfer student, Grace Town played by Lili Reinhart, as they work together in school as co-Editor-In-Chiefs of their school newspaper. The story is very character and performance-driven by the two leads of the movie. As the chemistry flows primarily with Henry and Grace, this movie has relatively average cinematography and editing. However, this movie does excel when it comes to creating interesting moods with lighting.
The visuals in the movie are not anything fancy, but in certain scenes, as the movie progresses, the lighting becomes very creative and interesting. This creates a more stylized feeling to the movie which keeps the viewer more engaged through their viewing experience. With that being said, there is not too much else technically that makes this film stand out.
A mid-movie montage to help speed up the relationship between the leads was very well done to change up the pace. It shows a wholesome and honest view of how both characters are feeling with the juxtaposition of the voice-over and visuals. In the end, this film is driven by the performances by Lili Reinhart and Austin Abrams.
The acting would not necessarily be considered out-of-this-world or new. However, the honesty the actors give is refreshing. The way they start to build in the first act is slow but relatable. As the movie continues, Lili Reinhart steals the movie with her portrayal of Grace`s pain and suffering regarding her turbulent past. They have very authentic performances which takes this movie from average to worth a watch.
At the end of the day, this is a teen drama, but even if that genre is not your thing, I would suggest giving it a watch. It is a story that truly unfolds as you watch and might strike a chord within you. If this is your genre, then I highly recommend giving this movie a look because it is a moody yet authentic rendition of the high school drama genre.
You can stream the movie on Amazon Prime.