Field of Vision: A Story of Bullying and Magic Cameras

As a victim of bullying myself, I was quite interested in the synopsis of the upcoming P&G and Wal-Mart Family Movie Night collaboration Field of Vision.

Through mysterious footage captured on an old malfunctioning video camera, Sinclair High School’s star quarterback, Tyler McFarland, learns that some of his teammates have been bullying Cory Walker, a troubled new transfer student.  Aware that sharing this information with the coach might get his friends kicked off the team and ultimately cost the school the state championship, Tyler must choose what’s more important: winning or doing what’s right.

Here is the trailer:

The story opens to introduce Tyler, his family and community.  Tyler plays for his high school’s football team.  His sister is a bit of a bookworm, devouring any books she comes across from a small shop owner.  The shop owner shows her an old, temperamental video camera.  It works, but only when it wants to.  More than that, it begins to show her footage of horses and other things.

Meanwhile, Cory Walker starts his first day at the high school.  He’s a foster child, having lost his mother years ago and never having known his father.  He is a quiet individual who hides a keen mind.  It is this keen mind that winds up getting him into trouble with a couple of players on the football team who bullies him for “making him look bad in front of his friends.”  Cory’s crime?  Answering a teacher’s question when asked to after one of the players couldn’t.

Tyler, the team captain, asks the football players who deny any involvement, but then finds out his teammates were lying when the video camera shows him just what went down.  Yes, this camera seems to have a bit of magic in its old circuitry!

Tyler’s then faced with the prospect of just how to respond.  A big game is coming up and the football players involved are needed to win.  Should he do the right thing and doom his team to losing (thus making himself an outcast as well)?  Should he turn them in only after the big game is over?  Or should he ignore the whole thing because this kind of thing has always gone on?

As a victim of bullying, I identified with much of Cory’s character.  At one point, he obviously knows the answer to a question in class and blurts out an answer without thinking.  When the teacher asks him for clarification, he hems and haws, uncomfortable with the spotlight that will likely lead to another bullying confrontation.  After the incidents, he is close to tears over the entire situation.

During high school, I felt that way many times.  There were many times that I wished that I could just shrink myself down until I’d disappear or hide myself somewhere to cry without giving my bullies more ammunition to use against me.

The bullies in the movie also use a tactic I’ve seen real-life bullies use: Framing the situation to their benefit.  They will attempt to dictate what the appropriate responses the bullied individual (or bystanders) can take to their actions.  Of course, these “bully approved” actions either solely benefit the bully or come at great cost to the bullied/bystander.  This can leave the bullied feeling like they have no choice and no options.  Isolation is a bully’s best friend.

Without spoiling the movie, I will say that I found the ending a tad unrealistic, but this is, after all, a family movie and not a hard-hitting expose on bullying.  I didn’t really expect plot threads that lingered for years or decades and issues that went unresolved for the rest of the characters’ lives.  In a movie like this, everything is tied up into a neat little bow by the closing credits.  Expecting that, it was quite entertaining and I would definitely recommend for people to tune in.

The premiere of Field of Vision is on Saturday, June 11 on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT.  More information is available from their website and Facebook page.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.