“Violet and Daisy” is Violent and Lazy

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Photo Courtesy of Cinedigm

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Monica Terada, El Vaquero Staff Writer
June 11, 2013
Filed under Arts and Entertainment

Trained teenage assassins who drink milk and ride a bicycle makes for a compelling logline sure to capture attention. However, although “Violet & Daisy” commit cold-blooded murder with milk moustaches, the movie’s dialogue and logic behind the story sequence fail to hold the audience’s attention.

The movie is told in form of chapters, nine in all, none remarkably amusing. Although, the biggest problem isn’t even really a question of whether or not it entertains, the chapters build up towards an ending that never quite unfolds. Many questions are left unanswered and parallel stories are introduced, but no payoffs follow.

Chapters one and two set up the story; Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) are looking to save up some money for their favorite pop idol, Barbie Sunday’s dresses. An easy hit job presents itself and they accept. But when they discover their target, Michael (James Gandolfini), has a heart big enough to engulf their own, they hesitate pulling the trigger. What should have followed is a touching story of two rebellious girls who rediscover themselves, and through heartbreaking scenes and tear inducing lines find their ways back to the “correct” way of life. Regrettably, what does follow is a series of corny and clichéd moments that work hard for a twist that never happens.

The dialogue is not convincing. Michael and Daisy sit on the couch while a group of ugly looking, serious, non-teenage assassins, point guns at them. Daisy, in a very girlish tone, more like a ten-year-old than a teen, raises the argument that they should lower their guns to not tire out their arms while she tells them a “secret.” The tough, gun-packing assassins quickly obey. The scene reeks of cheesiness and, of course, the “secret” does not exist, Daisy just wants to buy time. When the audience immediately understands a character’s motives and is able to connect all the dots in the scene, what is left to do? Hopefully you brought a partner to make out with.

Although Violet and Daisy are assassins, the movie tries to portray the two as teenage girls with simple teenage desires. However, the director, Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious), tried a little too hard, making them look more like kids than anything else. Milk moustache? If you’re above twelve and still have one of those, chances are high you will not succeed in life.

Throughout the beginning of the movie images of a sniper woman who aims her gun directly towards the main characters come up. Her presence is perplexing and little is said to explain who she is. Later, her character is introduced and she makes a threat to Daisy. The perplexing sniper woman leaves; the threat is never carried out and never mentioned again.

The girls are depicted as having family related issues; Daisy comes off as a little too needy and Violet cringes when Michael asks about her parents. Throughout the movie references to the girl’s past come up but none that really explain anything at all. The end comes, but no explanation. The audience is left with a feeling of having been cheated out of a good movie. The interesting storyline teases, showing it’s tempting legs, but reveals quite a dumb blonde during the actual date. It seems the script was lazily put together with cheap explanations. Fletcher’s education however was not very cheap.

Fletcher is a graduate of Harvard who also attended NYU’s Tisch Graduate School program. In 2010 he received an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay for the movie “Precious,” which he wrote based on a novel entitled “Push”, by Sapphire. The movie is nothing like “Violet & Daisy” in the sense that it delivers extremely profound dialogue, a coherent and logical flow in the plot, and deep characters with meaningful stories to tell.

“Violet & Daisy” marks Fletcher’s directorial debut and hopefully his last.

* ½ out of *****

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