Awesomly Lifetime and Hallmark: Cleveland Abduction-Why is Ariel Castro Wearing Maternity Padding?

Well, Lifetime decided to do it and make a movie about the Cleveland Abduction-we all knew it was going to happen.  And since I decided to revive this feature and didn’t want to watch DJ Tanner solve mysteries on the Hallmark Channel, I decided to review this little gem.

The Gist:

This one is a ripped out of the headlines feature.  If you aren’t a news junkie, a couple of years ago three women were discovered in a hell hole (aka  a house in Cleveland) after being held captive for over ten years by some loser who used to drive school buses.  Seriously, don’t they do background checks for that sort of thing?  Anyway, this Lifetime rendition of their story is based off of one of the survivor’s (Michelle Knight-now aptly known as Lily) book.  Incidentally, the other two survivors published their version of the events last week and were interviewed by Robin Roberts.


This one.


It’s sort of like the Jodie Arias movie that I reviewed a few years ago.  A lot of time is spent on the sadistic abuse/torture that the characters go through and not a lot of time is spent on knowing the characters.

I will give the movie a plus for costume accuracy.  A lot of the outfits did match the one’s that Michelle wore to court, etc.

I did feel for Michelle though.  If only because the physical abuse in the movie was just painful to watch. I just wanted to know more about this woman whose inner strength was essentially the embodiment of what a Lifetime woman is suppose to be.

But I just didn’t get that.  She discusses her son and that’s all I really know about the character.

You can say that about the other two girls in the film as well.  I felt that Amanda Berry, in particular, was kind of dissed by Lifetime as being the weak one out of the bunch.

Which is not true.

She broke the three of them out of that place.

Whatever though.

This is based on Michelle’s (or should I say Lily’s) story.

Character development aside, I think Lifetime did a fairly good job of showing how painful life in that house was.  I’m sure there were things that they couldn’t showed us, but for what it’s worth I grimaced a lot.

As I said before though, I just wanted more I think Post Castro to show how these women got their lives back together, etc.  Because there’s only so many times you can keep your dinner down when Casto and his maternity belly get extremely creepy.  However, considering that creepy had to be the least of what these women felt I guess it sort of makes the movie accurate?

Lifetime/Hallmark Squeal:

Um, none.

I had to stare at a halfway naked Ariel Castro throughout the entire thing.  And I’m pretty sure they made the guy wear a fake pregnant belly-because while his mid section was pretty flabby he still had some nice looking arm muscles.

Nice looking arm muscles aside, the guy really did embody the monster that Castro is and I really just wanted the ladies to incapacitate him somehow-even though realistically I knew they couldn’t/wouldn’t.

So, kudos, Castro actor.  You played the part well-maybe  a little too well.

OMG Lifetime/Hallmark Moment:

God, the entire movie.  It is like a nightmare.  Poor, poor, Michelle. You really felt for her throughout the entire thing and she showed strength that isn’t really, well, human.  She is really the epitome of what Lifetime strives for in their MC-a woman who goes through so much but at the end still survives.    I didn’t like the way Amanda Berry was portrayed in the movie though.  Then again, the movie is from Michelle’s perspective so I sort of get it.  The girl they had playing Gina looked eerily like her.  So, I’ll give them that.

Overall Rating:

I’m going to give this one a C.  The abuse that these women suffered had me going in and out of the room throughout the movie.  I sort of wished that more focus would be on their life’s post kidnapping.  And while I do feel like I saw/felt what Michelle suffered, I didn’t really get Michelle as a character.  Sure, she loved her son (and come on, that woman does deserve at least a photo of her little boy, adopted parents-at least from what Lifetime has showed us) but that’s about it.  I feel like if the character had been a little more fleshed out her story might’ve resonated a little more on screen rather than making me want to barf from all the abuse she suffered.



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