VIOLET & DAISY // The idea of “Violet & Daisy” was likely much more interesting than the execution. The idea of two young girls, interested in lollipops and pop singers, doubling as assassins is quite the tale. But as most of the film takes place in one living room and the actresses aren’t totally allowed to shine, the entire film falls flat. As touched on by most reviews that I’ve read, had Quentin Tarantino taken hold of this concept, the result would have been much more grand. But instead, Geoffrey S. Fletcher, a first-time director, takes the reigns. You know his name as being the Academy Award winning writer of the screenplay “Precious” and in all honesty, the screenplay for “Violet & Daisy” is not a poorly written script. It’s simply a retread of many other ideas that are just not brought to the screen properly.
Loving the work of both Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan, their innocent yet volatile personas as Violet and Daisy are great turns for them; once in a lifetime roles that are fun but do very little for their careers. With them, we also get one of James Gandolfini’s final performances, which strangely rings true to life, as his character suffers from an illness that will kill him. Instead, he takes matters into his own hands and gets on the radar of some bad people in order to get these two assassins to show up and kill him instead. The dialogue and character development are as ridiculous as the premise of the film, but somehow it all comes off with the most serious tone. But instead of this helping the film, it continues a strange middle ground between Tarantino and warped fairy tale that simply doesn’t work for a feature film. Had this been a short, the darkness of the comedy could have been endured, but the entire feature brings to mind recent satires, for example “God Bless America”. Despite dropping the ball as an interesting narrative, “Violet & Daisy” does allow us to enjoy Gandolfini for one of the very last times in film and for that I am grateful. With such an enormous career, even a small film like this gives us just a little bit more time with him.
[Directed by Geoffrey Fletcher] [R] [88 min] [7 June 2013]