Hazel (Bella Thorne) has problems. She’s agoraphobic (fearing wide-open spaces and lots of people). Her father and mother, Dee (Kyra Sedgwick), are in a nasty divorce process. If that isn’t enough, two masked gunman just shot up the van she was in on the way to a treatment facility.
Frank Grillo (the latest Captain America and Purge films) and Aaron Tveit play the two brothers who do the shooting, with Grillo as the Alpha male and Tveit as the slightly-touched sidekick. These two are the motivators for the growth that Thorne’s Hazel will experience in the course of the film, but fans should know that this is a wild ride set up to show off Thorne’s burgeoning acting chops.
Hazel’s problems allow for one of the highest story arcs possible for her character: she’s so far down and out inside her own head that she can’t see which way is up. She can’t function in normal society, or even develop any meaningful relationships. She’s afraid of everything it would seem, even the potential for harm within herself but the shooting and the pain she finds her mother in liberate her from the darkness that she’s been trapped in for something greater.
I think, too often, we live in fear from day to day. Fear of failure, terrorism, death, poverty, sickness, addiction, the unknown, other people, etc. They tear us apart and leave us toxic, immobile, and incapable of growth. We need a stimulus to break out – but when the stimulus scares us (or we see it as bad, as well), we fail to move.
Thankfully, for both our story and Hazel’s mother, Hazel moves. She breaks free, and recognizes that the only way to break the cycle is to make a change. It bears similarities to Alcoholics Anonymous, to ‘one foot in front of the other,’ and to the Christian gospel about a man who came from heaven who broke the cycle for us in Jesus Christ.
Big Sky is an independent, crime noir, character development kind of movie, but it’s also the story of redemption, and we could all use a little more of those these days.