Saturday, 14 April 2018

Thoroughbreds Film Review - The Rich Kids Of Connecticut Gone Bad

Written and directed by Cory Finley, I saw Thoroughbreds this week, a glossy mane of a tale with an alpha male and his trophy wife. And their embittered and troubled step-daughter Lily played by the perfect doll-like Anya Taylor-Joy, and Olivia Cooke as weird friend Amanda. On a roll this week as I also saw her in Ready Player One. Two girls with far to go.

Amanda turns up at Lily's gorgeous home, fresh from the stables, it involved a horse and a knife, (you may have seen the photos but don't worry because she's having therapy). Lily has agreed some extra tuition for Amanda with Amanda's Mum, who is desperate for Amanda to make some friends. And they were once great childhood chums. But time has passed and the girls are now merely undertaking a financial transaction, Lily being amply compensated by Amanda's Mum. Although she could have asked for $500 so desperate is she, quips Amanda. And we can see why Amanda may have trouble bonding. She admits to having no emotions while Lily wears her heart on her sleeve. She does not like step-father Mark, played by Paul Sparks, notes the perceptive Amanda. But he pays the bills, and the house is lovely.

The unlikely pairing discover a strange synergy together, and each brings out the other's dark side. Lily's life is just as complicated as Amanda's. Expelled from her expensive boarding school and now her mother and Mark have arranged for her to attend a more disciplined school. She isn't happy about it, and takes it out on Paul's bike. Ouch.

Why doesn't she kill him suggests Amanda. Well that's just plain weird. No one in their right mind would think of that. And no one in their right mind would do that. But with the weird sisters together it might just work.

Anton Yelchin as the poor Tim sells his drugs to the local rich kids. From the wrong side of the tracks he has a dream that one day he'll have a house like Lily's step-father. He's the perfect guy to attempt a burglary and in the ensuing struggle kill Paul. While Lily and Amanda conveniently are away (separately) with cast iron alibis. And when Tim doesn't seem too keen at doing the wet work, we find Amanda has recorded their previous meetings. Looks like Tim is on the hook for the murder. The blackmail is done, the date is set, and his gun is loaded.

I thought the film was fantastic, tense and chilling like Stoker, and of course Anton Yelchin's last work. The film is dedicated to him. Cory Finley has created a really interesting piece of work with his characters, both Anya and Olivia were stunning in bringing them dispassionately to life. With the skilful music by Erik Friedlander completely in tune with the stylish filming.

A very impressive first film.

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