RockStar Weekly Concert Reviews
Written by Dan Savoie
Drama - 1 hr. 45 min.
Directed By: Ramin Bahrani
Written By: Ramin Bahrani
On DVD: Aug 27, 2013
Dennis Quaid - Henry Whipple
Zac Efron - Dean Whipple
Kim Dickens - Irene Whipple
Heather Graham - Meredith Crown
Clancy Brown - Jim Johnson
Chelcie Ross - Byron
Genetically modified foods is something that is certainly topical. From radicals trying to stop the big agriculture companies from making modified seeds to activists destroying crops, it’s a controversial concept that is more-or-less destroying the natural food chain whether we like it or even know it. The new Dennis Quaid movie At Any Price is the first Hollywood flick to get based on a GMO farm. The film, which also stars Zac Efron and Heather Graham is a family drama that explores the cutthroat world of agriculture in the mid United States and how families and farmers contend with the business side of things. It gets released on Sony DVD and Blu-Ray on August 27.
Writer/director Ramin Bahrani explores the often ignored world of the farmer, in what appears to be a very real situation. Quaid plays Henry Whipple, a farmer who’s on the verge of losing some of his seed-sale territory, while at the same time increasing his own farm land with the assets of a dead cohort. Amongst the drama involving the family business, Whipple struggles with cheating on his wife with Meredith Crown (Graham), understanding his sons goals – Dean (Efron) wants to be a race car driver and Grant is off climbing mountains in Argentina – and he handles investigators from the agricultural giant Liberty who seek to prosecute him for re-using seeds, which is a violation of his contract.
From this film we learn that these massive GMO companies make our farmers sign agreements that they will not re-use any seeds produced from their crops, instead buying new ones from the company every year. It shows the heartlessness of these companies and the backwards thinking that something as natural as seeds must be manufactured in a factory somewhere and not obtained by natural means. It all comes down to money and the farmers can’t do anything about it.
Quaid gives his most striking performance yet, while Efron seems to be swaying a bit from his cute boy roles of the past. Graham is also adorable, but her character was begging for something more than just a love interest.
Overall the film openly explored some new territory by taking place on a large GMO farm and showing the modern troubles of farming in the US, but there seemed to be a lot more to explore here than what was presented. The Whipple farm could have been used to show new evidence into the GMO controversy and maybe serve as an awakening for those moviegoers not interested in documentaries.