VIOLET & DAISY Movie Review
Two young nuns shooting up a downtown hotel is certainly a bold way to open up a film. Violet & Daisy follows the two titular characters who are young hit girls on a mission to buy a fabulous party dress and will not be stopped by anyone for any reason. Getting paid to take out anyone the mysterious “Chet” tells them to is one way to make a living and apparently better than data entry. While the film starts off strong, a meandering second act that dips into dream sequences, prevents it from being a fully enthralling look at two teen assassins and their latest mark.
Starring Alexis Bledel as Violet and Saorise Ronan as Daisy, they look and act like they could be sisters rather than just partners. Like other teens, they joke and play with kittens and are super into the latest pop queen, Barbie Sunday. If not for the fact that they sometimes kill people together, they’d be just like any other teen BFFs. Bledel does a stand up job playing against type – no longer the innocent Rory Gilmore, she’s a sassy hitwoman with a mysterious past. She’s got the hard task of trying to keep Daisy’s world view innocent, well as innocent as possible given her chosen profession. Saorise Ronan shines, expertly playing Daisy’s innocence and niavete along with her trait of looking death in the eye and fast talking her way out of it without breaking a sweat. This is a character that doesn’t grasp that “sleeping with” means sex, but has almost no problem helping Violet shoot up a room. It’s a hard balance to strike, and Ronan does it perfectly.
The film centers on a last minute assignment the girls take so they can afford Barbie Sunday’s new party dress. It’s supposed to be an easy job, with a big payout, so of course things don’t go as planned. James Gandolfini plays as the man with a death wish and his vulnerability and “dad-like” quality helps bring out the layers of the girls and their relationship. While the girls are all fun and games, Gandolfini brings a gravatas to the events. It’s a delicate balance, too much and it would weigh down the film, too little and the audience won’t care about the characters.
The film works at a quick pace that dives you right in to the action, but the brief dream sequences bring the film to a stand still. They don’t reveal near enough about Violet’s past to make them worth the detour. However, they do provide some of the best visuals in the film that let Geoffrey Fletcher shine as a director. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Violet & Daisy hits theaters on June 7, 2013.