Violet & Daisy (2011)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Frickin’ weird, man.

Movies are great, movies are terrible, and sometimes movies are just frickin’ weird, man. Just like in school with the tables devoted to the weird kids, there is a table devoted to the weird movies. As with anything, weird can vary on to different levels…but come on…for whatever reason, they are weird and leave you with a strange taste left in your mouth. I consider myself a critic that understands a little more on what the filmmakers were trying to do, even if other critics can’t see past how bad it was, but this time I was lost with Violet & Daisy, one of the more current films starring Saoirse Ronan.

The Violent and Daisy in question are these two teenagers that are also hired guns…that’s right. Assassins. Their latest assignment had to do with killing a target that was supposedly an easy kill with a big payoff. Problem is, once they get there, he’s not what they usually encounter. He’s more or less welcoming death, and will take the opportunity to talk with the girls one on one in seemingly normal conversations throughout the film, making what should be an easy decision a life-altering ethical one. The question then goes to…will they do it…and if they do or don’t, what will happen next for them?

What did I just watch? It’s hard to verbally get across. We got a mixture of a lot of things, actually, and none of it feels natural or…right. If I could quickly sum it up, it’s the freakin’ twisted and violent version of Gilmore Girls. Have you ever seen that show? I couldn’t stand it purely because how it was written. Each episode, there was a character talking at all times. No one ever played the pauses, so it was obviously scripted because you could tell the characters weren’t even thinking of a response, they just said it…it got annoying too. You know how annoying nonstop talking is? I wish I was over exaggerating…nonstop, people. Yap yap yap. The same applied here. They were teenage girls…okay I get it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Even teenage girls have to think of a reaction.

Beyond the teenage girl aspect, it still doesn’t make sense. Because it feels wrong to see teenage girls act like teenage girls and then kill people. It’s unrealistic. That’s not how real killers act, even if they are for hire. From everything I’ve ever known about murder…is that it changes people. And then we have the dialogue. What the heck is up with the dialogue? It feels very theatre-esque. You know the kind, where they are saying things that technically make sense, but don’t sound like what normal people would say in the same situation? That.

The only thing that saves this film, and I’m not exaggerating, is the man, the legend, James Gandolfini. I still miss the actor, but he brings some real emotion to the film and switches things up just enough to keep our attention to the screen. If it was just these girls killing people randomly over and over again, I would have shut it off. Definitely not my favorite performance from Bledel or Ronan. The same goes for Gandolfini, but at least he pulled the weight.

The movie in general is really strange. For the most part, I have a hard time even explaining what I’m watching. I don’t really care about the characters, the theme confuses me, the style of film isn’t bad, but isn’t predominately unique either. I’m afraid this one is going to fall off my radar.

The Good:
James Gandolfini is a legend, and he definitely brought what he could to the film to keep it interesting enough to keep watching. That’s a lot of weight to burden if you think about it.

The Bad:
A lot. I can appreciate weird films, but this isn’t my cup of tea. Ronan and Bledel are incomplete characters. We have no idea of how they came to be assassins, and you’d think something so peculiar would have at least a little bit of an explanation. The characters they do have don’t make any logical sense either…the film seems to suggest they are very sane girls, but the way they react to certain things you’d think the same from a dangerous psychopath.


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