MOVIE REVIEW: Hard Candy 2005
The movie starts off with an inappropriate online chat conversation between an obviously adult man and a teenage girl. The chat is full of sexual innuendo and results in an arrangement to meet in person. The teenage girl arrives at the meeting place first. Once the man arrives we learn that the girl's name is Haley Stark (Ellen Page) and the man is Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson). Haley is a precocious, savvy 14 year old and Jeff is a charming 32 year old photographer. Once they meet, they leave the meeting place and go back to Jeff's home for a photo shoot. After conversation and drinks, the movie takes an even darker turn. Haley drugs Jeff and when he awakes, he finds himself bound to a chair. We find out that Haley's sole purpose for meeting Jeff is to punish him for being a suspected pedophile and maybe much worse. The roles are reversed and Haley the victim becomes Haley the vigilante. She commits many different acts of psychological and physical torture against Jeff. Haley has done much research on Jeff to ensure that her plans are carried out, so basically she's been stalking him. The rest of the film is a cat-and-mouse game where the more Jeff reveals about his past, the more Haley seems to get the upper hand. No more spoilers from me y'all.
All I can say about this film is WOW. This is an incredibly creepy and taut thriller. The entire film consists of dialogue between the two main characters with the exception of a short cameo appearance from Sandra Oh (Gray's Anatomy). That scene just seemed to be thrown in for good measure. While watching this film, I think you will side with one character..but never both. I sided with the male character and my companion sided with the female character. This movie will make you ponder whether Haley's character is an avenging angel or just another psychotic bitch. It will make you wonder if Jeff's character is an innocent victim or a freaking monster in disguise. I think that's exactly what the director was going for, a movie to make you "think"..... and he delivered. The minimalist approach to the scenery of the film worked, the set did not overwhelm and it allowed for the main characters personalities to fill the screen. Great camera work here as well, my photographer hottie would appreciate this. The actors were brilliant, I'd like to see more from both of them, especially Ellen Page. No nudity here and the most violent act in the movie is suggested and never shown. Even still, this movie may be hard to watch for some because of the overall theme. All I can say is, R. Kelly..you are very lucky you didn't run into a "Haley Stark".
VERDICT: 3.5 Soul Claps
Labels: Movie Reviews