I had the chance to check out Geoffrey Fletcher's directorial debut on its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and I was blown away. Geoffrey Fletcher is known as the Academy winning screenwriter of the film Precious, and his debut as a director took me by surprise because it did not at all offset any element from his writing work on Precious. He goes from social consciousness, inner-city story, black American social issues, etc.. and does a complete 180 degrees to create a world where two (white) teenage girls go on killing sprees for a living. but then again, Precious was adapted from a book, so he can kind of get away with this. Nevertheless, this really took me by surprise!
Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan play the title characters, who seem like they spun out of a Tarantino movie. Violet and Daisy are hit girls in New York, casually amoral about assignments with their only real concern being what dresses to buy with the pay. The movie unfolds in 10 chapters with the first being the most Tarantino-esque, which actually establishes the wrong tone for what is to come. Saoirse Ronan will definitely be mentioned come award time! I must admit that the film was entertaining and filled with great comedic timing and actions scenes that came straight out of a Tarantino flick. In fact, If I didn't know who had directed this film, my first guess would be Quentin Tarantino. Violet and Daisy are given a new assignment an easy one for an increase in pay,they are assured takes the film into much trickier terrain. The target, played as a wry and rumpled sad sack by James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) actually welcomes the girls' visit to his dumpy apartment. This bothers them: Shooting a willing victim seems unprofessional. The movie now devolves into a three-hander, with any number of incidents and other "guests" causing interruptions but the movie essentially becomes a play and delves into a poetic set of scenes filled with symbolic imagery to reveal each character's motives in life. The key confrontation in this life-or-death situation between killers and a eager victim forces self-examination on the parts of all three.
I applaud Fletcher's first effort, but can't really define him until I see more from him, which should be interesting to see what's next.
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