Kajillionaire REVIEW: Strange Stirring Crime Comedy Featuring Richard Jenkins And Evan Rachel Wood

American crime comedy-drama starring Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger, Gina Rodriguez is a story of two con-artists training their only daughter to steal and execute scams.

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Kajillionaire REVIEW: Strange Stirring Crime Comedy Featuring Richard Jenkins And Evan Rachel Wood
If a lockdown had a human form it would be Evan Rachel Wood in this extremely weird film, about a weird family, doing weird things. She plays a strange daughter of a freaky dysfunctional family where her parents have rared their daughter to be a choronic scamster. Petty crime is their way of life. The three-member family is so strange in its insulated emotionless togetherness that we as an audience feel uncomfortable watching them. Is it possible for parents to use their only child as a tool for petty income?

Is it possible for the child to grow up so tightly wound and repressed that her words come out in a staccato stream of disembodied sign languages? To be decoded by anyone cares  to. Sadly no one cares. Evan Rachel Wood has played a severely disturbed girl earlier in a  film called Allure. Nothing prepares us for her performance in Kajillionaire as a girl on the verge of a nervous breakdown, functional as a tool in her parents’ life to the point of being non-existent.

She is  so much just a tool of  utility in her  parents’ life that it hurts to even see  the  parent-child  bonding reduced to this grotesque mimicry  of  genealogical  serviceability. It’s as though the parents hated their only child from the start. Why else would they name her something as bizarre as Old Dolio Dyne?

Into this bleak barren brutal life comes Melanie(Gina Rodriguez) who happily joins Old Dolio and her parents in their sleazy scamming which includes  claiming insurance for  lost luggage and breaking  into homes of  old  helpless dying people  and cleaning them dry. These are not people you would want to invite home for dinner.

Melanie is that one ray of hope for Old Dolio of redemption. The abused daughter pines for love. Melanie gives. There are lots of twists and turns before the proverbial happy ending. But the behavior of the parents (played by seasoned veterans Debra Winger and  Richard Jenkins) remains  baffling in its brutality to the end.

Could it be that Old Dolio was a child they found in a dumpster and treated her  like trash into her disturbed adulthood?

As a deeply disturbing meditation on the fractured nuclear family and the  supremacy of greed over deeper emotions, Kajillionaire  and its dry impervious tone of narration  is deeply unsettling.

While Evan Rachel Wood with her  ironed hair falling  on both  sides of  her  face with a ferocious  implacability is a portrait of an emotional  lockdown,  the  film itself replicates her  emotionless  conduct leaving us  with a situation  that spares  no emotions. It has none to spare.
I will go with 2 and a half  stars for this one. 

Image Source:IMDB