Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kajillionaire - Movie Review

The Movie: Kajillionaire

The Director: Miranda July

The Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger

The Story: A woman's life is turned upside down when her criminal parents invite an outsider to join them on a major heist they're planning.

The Review:
Taking a look at the life of a con artist family isn't them most original idea in the world right now given the fact that Bong Joon-ho's Parasite covers similar territory while also winning the Academy Award for Best Picture earlier this year. I will however admit that the comparison is too easy and too simple as the stories are very different and look at this lifestyle in completely different ways.

The highlight of this movie for me is the character we get from Evan Rachel Wood who gives one of those transformational performances that are nearly unrecognizable from who we normally see her as. Gone is the flash and glam we expect from our Hollywood stars and in its place is a raw and emotional characterization that interestingly enough goes through a transformation of its own. Everything about Wood's character has been created and molded by her on screen parents, played by Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger, for one single purpose. Running scams for money by any means necessary.

Beyond watching Ms. Wood do her thing, I didn't find the movie all that interesting. Earlier comparison included, this story didn't really have anything I hadn't seen before and the lessons and examinations didn't really hit home for me. Even Gina Rodriguez, who I normally love, was underutilized as her character basically exists in the movie as a curvy, sexy love interest with no real depth or personality. Everything about the movie seems telegraphed and it all plays out exactly as you expect.

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