Monday, November 07, 2011

[DVD] Tomboys (2009)

Written and directed by Nathan Hill, this Australian movie is a throwback to the good old grindhouse movies, where language, violence and gore are part and parcel of the entire package, and Tomboys go to great lengths in keeping to that look and feel, keeping the visuals grainy, the camerawork shaky, and who can not miss those huge character titles that come on to introduce each of the leading ladies, the titular tomboys, who have gathered in a barn to execute (pardon the pun) their dastardly plan.

But of course to the group of five, it is nothing more than to exact revenge for the cruel sexual assaults caused by their tormentor, now masked and bound and strung up within a barn, ready to be met with his just desserts. It's trouble five times over with vengeance on the mind of these ladies, especially that of the unofficial ringleader Kat (Candice Day) who masterminded the kidnap and having her posse of female chums gathered to witness and partake in the exercising of their inner demons brought forth by the serial rapist of their town.

You may think this is a simple open and shut case, with a plain narrative that details the many torturous techniques that the girls want to put the serial rapist under, given the deliberate shot of many types of tools available to inflict punishment, and a fridge stocked with cold beer while at it. But here's where Nathan Hill had a lot more hidden up his sleeves. The story tosses up many twists, turns and surprises along the way, which provides opportunity for all of the actresses to showcase their acting chops, since the events that unfold mostly through talk, will call upon shifting loyalties and dynamics within the group.

While everyone's supposed to work toward a common goal, having these unplanned events thanks to Murphy and other emotional baggage that the girls kept hidden from one another, takes a toil on their supposedly chumminess at the beginning of the film. It dwells upon one's threshold of "justice", in just how much is enough, and in a group there will always be the risk takers always wanting to push boundaries, and those who prefer to stay within their comfort zones, especially when the time calls for covering up of their tracks, and internal bickering and betrayals. Having to witness this played out to perfection, is one of the highlights of the film.

Set in just one locale, the modestly budgeted Tomboys belong to the genre of films that sets its own challenge of engaging an audience without the luxury of transcending space, and the tight narrative helped the convincing performances of its cast members, helped to make this one heck of a morality tale, with the grindhouse gimmick being the icing on the cake.

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