Style That Kills.
Kusama is overthinking and over chewing the content that apparently she has taken granted for. More or less fumbling on narrating a productive story, the film is one big moot point. This non-linear screenplay barely has something to say let alone be something new. With effortful twists and turns, all the hokum that it sweats for, protrudes an unstable unnerving ride where no one is happy at the beginning of it nor thrilled at the end of it. And the one big revelation that the makers crave for, most probably, disappears amidst provocative tear jerking episodes which writers claims here to be a drama.
This thriller genre feature has barely any thrills to he relied upon. The behemoth antics that it relies upon is a bourgeois attempt of carrying out the rudimentary procedure of “investigation”. The storytelling focuses on “who” or “why” of it, while it should have kept its eyes upon “how” of it. Since Kidman is on the driver’s seat for the most part of it, the chills of the close calls gets lost into pretentious loud background score.
Take her first invasion for example, Whitford playing DiFranco, catcher her by the nerves and yet it is so bizarrely executed that Kidman’s performance brings out nothing but pity from us. Another such antic that it roots for, is the “bank robbery gone wrong” scene. Now, not only is it poorly choreographed but the execution isn’t clean enough to map out the entire sequence for us to nod agreeably. Followed by a chase scene, the cat fight between Kidman and Maslany is the only action that you are about to get.
What it majorly lacks on these big moments is confidence to pull it off with conviction, while ironically the rest of the part is over confident about its material it passes on. Nicole Kidman cloaking as Erin Bell with a make-up for transformation that may not make her scarier but surely makes her a grimmy old boxer in a twelfth round that can both take and throw a punch. What’s fascinating is the tug of war between the script and Kidman. Everytime the film flies high through cheesy conversations and melodramatic moments, Kidman pins it down to the ground with her gritty practical nuances that makes it more appealing.
The testament of her brilliant performance lies on her body language, the way she drives a car, the way she reloads a gun and the way she pulls her man to kiss, she literally carries off the film all on her own. Sebastian Stan as her love angle doesn’t come off impressive or expressive as it was aspired, the energy of their chemistry is all controlled by Kidman. Aforementioned, the non-linear narration does charm you at the end of the line, but with eerie camera work and inessential slow motion shots it shucks away the earned integrity. Plus, after the pockets are emptied, you are left with an unsatisfactory feeling which will always haunt you and on that very note, it probably is a Destroyer.