- 1 hr 30 min
Birthmarked is a 2018 comedy-drama movie that tells the story of two scientists who are willing to go to any lengths to prove their theory on nurture vs nature. The movie stars Matthew Goode, Toni Collette, Andreas Apergis, as the main characters. Catherine and Ben are married and work as scientists who have been conducting experiments on rats for a long time. They seek to prove that all human beings have the capacity to be anything that they want, irrespective of their genetics. They have published extensively on how children become everything they are through conditioning and training, and not because of their genetic make-up.
To prove their theory, Catherine and Ben decide to raise three kids they adopted as part of their experiment with a different approach. The aim isn't to exploit the kids, but to see if they can make the kids grow up to be successful individuals even without the contributions of their genetic makeup.
The issue is that their experiment requires them to make unusual choices when it comes to raising the children. They choose a unique way of raising their children dubbing the experiment as an "extreme nurture vs. nature project." They start by making sure that the children are not exposed to any modern-day technology or any form of TV. Instead, they have stocked their house with old books and hobbies that they believe will stimulate the children's minds.
The oldest child, Luke, is very intelligent and has a passion for science. Catherine, along with other scientists, believes that she can turn him into a genius. Maya is the second child, and she has been trained to become a concert pianist. The youngest boy, Maurice, is purposefully treated poorly and is often left behind. This is because Catherine and Ben's theory is that children who undergo hardship will grow up stronger.
As expected, there are some complications along the way, and the family dynamic gets strained. The children start to express desires that allude to the fact that they might not be happy with the experiment. They question their parents' motives and their unconventional lifestyle, which has led them to be isolated from their peers.
As the movie progresses, the family members begin to have internal conflicts with each other. The experiment leads to various hilarious moments, strange choices, and poor decision-making. The strain on the family eventually leads to the family crumbling under pressure.
What is interesting about the movie is the chemistry and performances from the actors playing each character. Matthew Goode's Ben and Toni Collette's Catherine star as the lead actors, and they do an excellent job of bringing their characters to life. Their performance is complemented by Andreas Apergis' performance as the deliveryman who Catherine has hired to provide Maurce with some tough love.
The movie raises the question of whether relationships between parents and children depend more on the love they share than on the DNA they share. It also questions whether it is ethical for parents to try and manipulate their children to fulfil a predetermined outcome.
Overall, Birthmarked is a comedy-drama movie that will leave you pondering about the choices we make and the outcome they lead us into. The movie is well-paced, well-written, and features a compelling storyline that will keep you entertained till the end. The movie highlights the importance of loving your children for who they are rather than trying to manipulate them to become what you want them to be.
Birthmarked is a 2018 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 44.