Dystopian Heroes

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Dystopian Heroes

The concept of dystopian worlds is one that has always been popular in cinema, but seems to have captured film-goers imagination more so than ever in recent years… and with each story, there is often a tortured (and very good-looking) hero at the centre. To celebrate the release of sci-fi romance FREQUENCIES, arriving on digital platforms from April 13, 2015 and on DVD from April 20, 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment, we take a look at some of the best actors to take on the role of dystopian heroes…

Daniel Fraser – Frequencies

In this dystopian future, children’s ability to succeed in life is determined based on their own personal ‘frequency’ which dictates how lucky they will be. Fraser takes on the role of Zak, who registers a frequency so low it measures as a negative. Despite this, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to Marie (Eleanor Wyld), whose frequency is so high she is deemed the luckiest girl in the world. Fraser’s portrayal of the awkward, perpetually unlucky but forever optimistic Zak is beautifully understated, allowing the tentative chemistry between himself and Wyld to develop at a pace that keeps the audience on tenterhooks as they will the couple to find a way to be together.



Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games 

This hit franchise based on Suzanne Collin’s bestselling YA novels stars Jennifer Lawrence as protagonist Katniss Everdeen, alongside Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. Hemsworth plays Gale, Katniss’ childhood friend, while Hutcherson takes the role of Peeta Mellark, her fellow competitor in the Games. Throughout the competition and the subsequent rebellion, Peeta and Gale vie for her affections. Hemsworth is arguably the more brooding individual, plagued with insecurities as he struggles to reconcile his feelings for Katniss with his doubts that Katniss and Peeta’s ‘fake relationship’ for the cameras really is fake, but Hutcherson must be commended for his sensitive portrayal of the traumatised, selfless Peeta, determined to do anything for the woman he loves.

Theo James and Miles Teller – Divergent 

The first in the trilogy based on Veronica Roth’s YA series stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Miles Teller, and is set in a futuristic Chicago, where society has been divided into 5 factions. The factions are based on people’s predominant virtue- Abnegation for the selfless, Dauntless for the brave, Erudite for the intellectual, Candor for the honest, and Amity for the peaceful. When teenagers reach the age of 16, they must choose to either stay in the faction of their birth, or transfer into another faction. Beatrice Prior, or ‘Tris’ (Woodley) is forced to decide between staying with her family in Abnegation, where she doesn’t feel she fits, or to transfer into another faction leaving her family behind. James plays Four, the instructor of the Dauntless faction and Tris’ love interest, while Teller takes the role of the conflicted, tortured Peter, another competitor to join Dauntless, whose violent tendencies and vindictive nature create a major threat to Tris… although he eventually goes some way to redeeming himself.

Andrew Garfield – Never Let Me Go 

This haunting, heartbreaking drama based on Kazuo Ishiguru’s novel recounts the lives of Ruth (Keira Knightley), Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield), three friends who grow up together in an idyllic English boarding school. Following a medical breakthrough in 1952 the human lifespan has been extended beyond 100 years. Whilst at school, the trio discover, by the revelations from new teacher Miss Lucy (Sally Hawkins), their true nature: they exist only as organ donors for transplants, and will die – referred to as “completing” – in their early adulthood. They leave school with the horrific truth of their fate hanging over them, with Tommy arguably struggling to deal with their fate the most. Through this, the trio must deal with the ever-present love triangle hanging over them, and Garfield’s agonising portrayal of a man driven half-mad with the knowledge of his fate is one of many highlights in this captivating drama.

Dylan O’Brien – Maze Runner 

This adaptation of is James Dashner’s novel of the same name stars Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien as Thomas, who arrives in a place known as the Glade, with no memory of anything except his name. He meets other teenage boys called Gladers who have created a community within the area, which lies in the centre of a giant maze. Every week supplies are sent, and every month a new boy arrives in an elevator called “the Box”. Inside the maze, mechanical creatures called Grievers roam it at night, and huge doors into the Maze close at sunset and reopen in the morning. Shortly after Thomas’s arrival a girl is sent up in the Box, unconscious and with a cryptic note. It soon becomes apparent that the girl Theresa (Kaya Scodelario) and Thomas share a history and join forces to discover why they’ve been sent to the maze. O’Brien’s more than holds his own in a cast that includes Will Poulter and Patricia Clarkson, making a more than believable hero, and bringing a brilliant energy to the central role.

Brenton Thwaites – The Giver 

Based on Lois Lowry’s social science-fiction novel, The Giver tells the story of a community which is seemingly perfect. The society has eradicated any kind of pain or suffering by converting to “Sameness,” – but this has also eliminated any kind of emotion or feeling from their lives. Jonas (Thwaites) is chosen to become the next Receiver of Memory, taking over from the previous one (Jeff Bridges)- the Receiver is the assigned individual who stores all  past memories of the time before Sameness, in case these memories are needed to help the community at any time. Thwaites brings an emotional depth to Jonas, as he struggles with completely new emotions, the concepts of good and evil and whether the price to pay for utopia is really worth it.

FREQUENCIES arrives on digital platforms from April 13, 2015 and on DVD from April 20, 2015 courtesy of Signature Entertainment,


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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