A few minutes after a startling and memorable opening sequence I started to wonder where Violet & Daisy was going.
Then, somewhere towards the end of its first third, things started to turn. The characters, the language and even the style of the piece evolved and landed the characters (and me) in a number of unexpected and poignant places. The film also stayed with me days after it ended and that was the last thing I expected to happen. Violet & Daisy packs heat but it also packs an emotional Trojan horse.
The imagery, editing and sound design are of a stylized and seamless universe. The use of symbolism (I'm still processing some of it) is something rarely seen in films these days - especially in those about hip young criminals coming of age.
I've always liked many of the actors in the cast but I never imagined that they would appear in the same film. (The ensemble is just one of the odd and intriguing elements at play here.) All of the actors delivered and did so with performances that were stark departures from their previous roles. Saoirse Ronan is funny, Alexis Bledel is psychotic and James Gandolfini is, in what might be his greatest film role of all, nothing short of sublime. Veterans like Danny Trejo and Marianne Jean-Baptiste are delightful, as are rising stars Tatiana Maslany and Cody Horn.
With Violet & Daisy, some have drawn comparisons to movies like Hanna, Kick-Ass and Sucker Punch. Those comparisons seem misplaced. Violet & Daisy reaches for something very different from those films and succeeds quite daringly.
I took a chance and was quite pleased.