Violet & Daisy Blu-ray Review
VIOLET & DAISY tries to be a whimsical action-comedy with the kicker of 2 young women being hired assassins. I like the premise, but the execution just doesn’t come through. You basically wait the entire film for something really to happen. Little does.
The problem lies squarely with Director/Screenwriter Geoffrey S. Fletcher. He tries too hard in his directorial debut with some of his visuals and his story. Nothing quite comes together.
Ok. We have the two young female assassins in Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saoirse Ronan). They are wild and sassy. Fletcher gives an early peep into their life as they execute a hit over several armed men. The duo dresses as nuns delivering pizza and they are efficient and deadly with their task. There is a bounce to their steps as the carnage piles up. Violet is the more aggressive of the two. She takes the lead and guides her prodigy Daisy along. The one great thing about Bledel and Ronan are their deep blue eyes. Fletcher wisely plays them up and they are like windows into the souls of these two women.
Both are big fans of Barbie Sunday, a successful singer who is starting a clothing line. Her concert in the area had been cancelled, but the clothing line was still on track to premiere in town. They had their eye on some stylish dresses. This causes a problem for them as they planned on taking some time off after their last job.
So far so good with this movie as there is enough stylish gun play and snappy dialogue to last a while. That changes with the next target. He is a mysterious figure simply referred to as “The Guy” (the late James Gandolfini) who stole from the wrong people. It is supposed to be a simple task. The subject has a routine. The girls will wait for him in his home and be done with it. The problem arises when they both fall asleep. That is not a great idea when you are trying to kill someone. But he is different. He puts a blanket on them and waits patiently for them to wake up.
This is where VIOLET & DAISY makes a wrong turn. It becomes more of a dull character study. There is less and less fun and stifling dialogue is supposed to stimulate the senses instead. There are stops and starts as far as them killing him. They run out of ammo and create adventure for Violet, while Daisy connects with The Guy on a personal level.
Violet runs into another crew and also has a wild time at the hardware store. Fletcher does an annoying thing of going back and forth with a scene until we see what exactly transpires. Some have pointed out an obvious Quentin Tarantino effect here. I can see that in connection with Pulp Fiction and the two hitmen who trade barbs and laughs at each other. It was groundbreaking back then, but seems tired and worn out here. Nothing new is being done.
Gandolfini and Ronan fare best in what they got. There is a nice rapport between them. Gandolfini shows so much with little dialogue. The Guy knows his time is short and he’s fine with it for reasons explained later on. It is nice acting and he never goes big. Ronan displays the right amount of innocence for Daisy. Daisy may be a little bit over her head with this position and she doesn’t have anyone to talk to about this. That is where The Guy comes into play. They share secrets and personal stories. It makes it harder for the final decision that awaits Daisy.
The movie tracks at one hour and a half and it should have been longer. Back story needs to be addressed to make sense of some things. For instance it would have been nice to see how Violet and Daisy got started in the business. Especially Daisy since it doesn’t really suit her. Fletcher throws in some material about Violet’s ex-partner Rose. Rose was shot and killed. Fletcher shows Violet having nightmares about her, but doesn’t go any further. What happened that Violet is still traumatized by her death? We don’t find out. I also wanted to know more about the rival outfit and another assassin played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste. You have an excellent actress right there and you don’t really do anything with her. It is just puzzling.
VIOLET & DAISY is a middling picture that squanders a decent premise. It wastes some good performances and leaves open ended questions that are never answered.
VIOLET & DAISY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Many of the scenes seem a bit darker than they should have been. Maybe it was the ambience that Fletcher was trying to create or that the transfer wasn’t that great.
Audio: The dialogue is heard and clear as intended.
That is it for the extras. I am extremely disappointed that Fletcher didn’t have a commentary or something explaining his choices in the film.