Consumed isn’t so much a film as a treatise on the dangers of genetically modified foods (GMOs).
That being said chances are you know what you are getting into when you pay to see a movie like this so one has to approach it a little differently. With that in mind Consumed is a surprisingly good film with a lot of heart.
In the wrong hands the film could have easily veered off into PSA territory making it totally unwatchable. But writer/director Daryl Wein allows for quite a bit of balance in dealing with the subject. The CEO of a major GMO corporation (Victor Garber) isn’t creating the new seeds out greed or for nefarious purposes; he seems to genuinely want to use the technology to help. While not entirely a world of black and white there are at least plenty of shades of gray.
Wein makes sure to explore every level of the food chain from the top executives and scientists to the farmers and consumers. Unfortunately such a wide scope weakens the film as the viewer doesn’t spend nearly enough time with one character to get attached.
Still, the casting is so fantastic that you almost don’t even notice. Danny Glover puts in an amazing performance as farmer Hal Westbrook that you almost wish you could see the entire film from his perspective. Instead our audience surrogate is single mother Sophie (Zoe Lister Jones) who goes into a panic when her son gets sick, possibly due to the food he is eating.
While Jones does a good job as a concerned mother it is hard to really feel for her when so little time is spent with her son Garett (Nick Wilkin). Tommy is the driving force for most of the film but rarely speaks and even then seems pretty shy on screen. It is possible Wein kept him a blank slate so the audience would feel for him as their own child but even then, some personality would be nice.
Consumed won’t change anyone’s life but, if nothing else, should inform a lot more people of the possible dangers of GMOs. What goes on your plate doesn’t simply have an impact on the person eating it but involves countless other people across the country as well.