Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Gina Rodriguez

QuickView: Kajillionaire (2020)

Kajillionaire poster

“Most people want to be Kajillionaires. That’s the dream. That’s how they get you hooked. Hooked on sugar. Hooked on caffeine.”


Miranda July’s offbeat fables feature oddball characters brushing against the harshness of the normal world, but with enough warmth and brightness to maintain a comedic atmosphere. Kajillionaire‘s focus is Old Dolio, a tragic figure in her mid-twenties, neglected by her petty criminal parents so that she is uncomfortable with human connection or affection, much as she craves it. Evan Rachel Woods appears strikingly like a young Jason Mewes, from her hair and wardrobe to a wiry physical performance as she contorts herself to avoid the gaze of cameras and people. The film is slow to make its intentions apparent, with her parents’ decision to bring an outsider into the team first suggesting a jealous rivalry, though gradually we see that it forces Old Dolio to reckon with her own familial relationship. A memorable scene features the group acting out regular family life in a stranger’s home, which July plays for light comedy whilst also also making us aware that this easy charade is unfamiliar to Old Dolio and painful to pretend. Kajillionaire meanders a little too much but a strong closing scene provides a pleasing resolution.


QuickView: Annihilation (2018)

“As a psychologist, I think you’re confusing suicide with self-destruction. Almost none of us commit suicide, and almost all of us self-destruct.”

Dr Ventress

Another thoughtful science fiction story from Alex Garland, Annihilation has much in common with Monsters, featuring a group of humans journeying through the “shimmer”, an area abandoned following an extraterrestrial impact. Garland’s unwillingness to compromise is to be praised, particularly with a female team of scientists filling most of cast, but unfortunately he fails to produce characters of more than sketches. Nevertheless, the narrative has a surprisingly effective payoff and the film offers something to muse regarding the beauty and fragility of DNA.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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