Fact: I will watch anything that the cast of Riverdale does. Chemical Hearts was no exception. Lili Reinhart may have been the main reason for wanting to check this one out, but that was before I knew anything about the story. Mental health struggles depicted in cinema is still a taboo subject. Very rarely is it tackled properly and I have to commend this movie for going where they did. It certainly left a lasting impression on me.
Henry Page (Austin Abrams) has always played it safe. He has a great family life – his parents have been together since high school and his sister is an attendant at the local hospital. He has good grades and hopes to become editor of the school newspaper during his senior year.
Enter Grace Town (Lili Reinhart). A transfer student, she is paired up with Henry as co-editor. But Grace isn’t like all the other girls. She wears baggy clothes, never puts on make up and walks with a cane. Nobody really knows anything about her and she likes to keep it that way.
But Henry can’t help it when he falls in love at first sight. Wanting to learn everything about her, the two begin to spend more time together, and over time, Grace’s walls begin to come down. She wants to share her secrets with Henry but she isn’t sure that he will still feel the same after he knows the truth.
Watching this movie was like going on a rollercoaster ride. It took some time to get going, but when it did, I was very much swept up in Henry and Grace’s story separately as well as together. Though the two are polar opposites, their chemistry shined through the screen and gave me all sorts of emotions.
I mentioned earlier that the movie deals heavily with the topic of mental health and I was very impressed as to how it was handled. Lili in particular proved that her acting skills are far superior than anything Riverdale could ever give to her. She was so relatable and heartbreaking all at the same time. Similarly, Austin worked well off of her and it was interesting to see how each actor made their mark throughout the scenes.
What I loved the most was how, days after finishing, this one is still on my mind. Despite the heavy nature, there is a moral to the story that will stick with you. Any movie that can do that is a good one in my book!