How entertaining? ★★★★☆
Thought provoking? ★★☆☆☆
30 September 2011
This a movie review of RED WHITE & BLUE.
“I don’t f**k the same guy twice,” Erica (Amanda Fuller).
“Condoms are for homos,” Erica.
Is “entertainment” the right word? By that I mean how gripping. And this thing sure is. It’s a revenge film up there with genre peaks Oldboy and I Saw the Devil. Red White & Blue starts with neon, the screen unsubtly bathed in crimson from a bar’s décor. We see a young woman, she gets together with a guy (Franki, played by Marc Senter), she goes back to his, and partakes in an orgy with him and his two mates. Erica lives in a boarding house for free, in exchange for cleaning. In that house is Noah Taylor’s Nate, who eyes her with interest. They are both pretty unpleasant people. He talks about torturing animals as a kid, while she is abrasive and lacking in social niceties. With the threat of eviction suddenly hanging over Erica, Nate steps in and gets her a job. They very slowly start to bond. Meanwhile Franki’s ex is back on the scene for him, but there are consequences for sleeping with Erica. There are consequences and consequences, events demonstrating cause and effect in the harshest way possible.
Mumblecore, the relatively new subgenre emanating from American independent filmmaking, concerns slacker cinema. The proponents include Joe Swanberg, Andrew Bujalski and the Duplass brothers; with a mumblecore detective film (Cold Weather) and sci-fi (Mars), and now we have a retribution pic. Red White & Blue has a silly name and crummy piano soundtrack, but the story is impressive, the acting committed and the atmosphere of tragedy and menace palpable. I’m trying to avoid revealing too much.
“Would you prefer to stay alive with your mummy and daddy? Or die with them?” Nate.
2011 has been a great year for Brit directors doing genre fare: Ben Wheatley (Kill List), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) and now Simon Rumley joins them. Not for the faint of heart this, but if you want something disturbingly engaging about ruined lives, look no further.