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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2306)

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Hard Candy 
"Hard Candy" by Yojimbo
3/4 stars

Paedophilia has always been a thorny subject. How can you justify the actions of people who prey on the most innocent and vulnerable members of society purely for their own sexual gratification? You can't. But does that give that society the right to act out of vengeance rather than justice...? With many similarities to the work of Chan-Wook Park, this film could be thought of as "Sympathy For Miss Vengeance". Ellen Page takes justice into her own hands as a fourteen year old who has been "groomed" by a thirty-something man over the internet, but the script cleverly makes the audience never quite sure who is "good" guy and who is the "bad" guy. Is Geoff an evil paedophile who preys on children, or is Haley a manipulative psychopath acting purely out of a sadistic need to deal with some traumatic issues of her own? The performances are good, although the fact that most of the film takes place in one location with these being the only two characters means that it is definitely a slow burner. I also found the director's style a little self consciously "avant garde" (ie too many colour filters, shots with wandering focus and my pet irritation, the accursed wobbly cam) but the story definitely held my attention, and although I was dubious at certain points as to whether the story knew where it was going, I thought the ending tied it together really well. An unusual and well written offbeat thriller.


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