11th November 2020

Kajillionaire Review: It Is A Strange Stirring Drama

Kajillionaire

Starring  Evan Rachel Wood ,Richard Jenkins ,Debra Winger ,Gina Rodriguez 

Directed  by Miranda July

Rating: ** ½

If a lockdown had  a  human form  it would be Evan Rachel Wood in this extremely  weird  film  about a weird  family doing weird things. She  plays  a strange  daughter of a freaky dysfunctional family where her parents have rared  their daughter  to be  a  choronic scamster.

Petty crime is their way  of life. The three-member  family is  so strange  in its insulated  emotionless togetherness that  we as an audience feel  uncomfortable watching them. Is it possible  for  parents  to  use  their  only child as a tool for  petty income? Is it possible for  the child to grow up so tightly  wound  and repressed that her words come out in a staccato stream of  disembodied sign languages? To be decoded  by  anyone cares  to.Sadly no one cares.

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Evan Rachel  Wood has played a severely disturbed girl earlier in a  film called Allure.Nothing prepares us for her  performance in  Kajillionaire as a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown, functional as  a tool in her parents’ life  to the point of being non-existent.She is  so much just a tool of  utility in her  parents life that it hurts to even see  the  parent-child  bonding reduced to this grotesque mimicry  of  genealogical  serviceability. It’s  as though the parents hated their only child from the start.Why else would they name her  something as bizarre as  Old Dolio Dyne?

 Into this bleak barren brutal life  comes Melanie(Gina Rodriguez) who happily joins Old Dolio and her parents in their sleazy scamming which includes  claiming insurance for  lost luggage  and  breaking  into  homes of  old  helpless dying people  and cleaning them dry.These are  not people  you would want to invite home  for dinner.

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Melanie is that one ray  of hope for  Old Dolio of  redemption.The abused daughter pines for love. Melanie  gives. There are  lots of twists and turns before the  proverbial happy ending. But  the behavior  of  the parents(played by seasoned veterans Debra Winger and  Richard Jenkins) remains  baffling in its brutality to the end. Could  it be that Old Dolio was  a child they found in a dumpster and treated her  like trash into her disturbed adulthood?

As a deeply disturbing meditation on the fractured nuclear family and the  supremacy of greed  over  deeper emotions, Kajillionaire  and its dry impervious tone of narration  is deeply unsettling. While Evan Rachel Wood with her  ironed hair falling  on both  sides of  her  face with a ferocious  implacability is  a portrait of an emotional  lockdown,  the  film itself replicates her  emotionless  conduct leaving us  with a situation  that spares  no emotions. It  has none to spare,

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