Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Emily Browning, Xavier Samuel, Cam Gigandet
Running Time: 100 Minutes, Rated R, Available October 15th
Special Features: Half of Me Remix (Music Video); Enzo Unleashed (funny bits and outtakes with Xavier Samuel & Cast); 2 Teaser Trailers
Haley and her brother Jack were the star performers of the band Plush until Jack’s accidental heroin overdose. Haley took a break from music to be a wife to her crime journalist husband and mother to her twin sons. Inspired to write music again she gets the band back together with new addition – a genius guitar player named Enzo, an original Plush fan. At a concert, Haley and the band debut a new song from their new album dedicated to her brother, and she’s heartbroken when it isn’t received very well. Enzo tries to comfort her and they begin an intense affair which inspires her creativity. He convinces Haley to allow him to remix the song and shoot the music video. All involved, including the band’s manager Annie overlook and forgive Enzo’s increased weirdness and play it off that he’s just an artist. Haley can’t tell anyone about the affair and finds it harder to cover up when Enzo routinely shows up at her house, and starts interacting with her husband and kids. Haley must find a way to separate herself from Enzo or lose everything.
The Negative: It plays off like a cross between Poison Ivy, Fatal Attraction with a little sprinkle of Silence of the Lambs starring Paramore. It feels like it’s trying too hard to be both sexual and psychological thriller, and not enough time was spent on either side. Catherine Hardwick is getting older, yet she keeps taking on these young edgy projects that are making her come off as a bit of a “Wooderson.” Some scenes felt a little out of touch, especially the ones with S & M which has become trendy and off base thanks to a terrible book trilogy.
The Positive: There’s some good chemistry between Emily Browning and Xavier Samuel. The costumes are fun. The music was pretty good. The special features segment Enzo Unleashed was very funny.
Plush has some definite story flaws, but the cinematography & editing were very stimulating throughout. The ending was action packed and intense then got silly. They could’ve just left it at Haley and her husband willing to make it work, but then they had to bring in an unnecessary twist which lowered the grade for me. I did like how all the confusing visuals were finally tied together in a A-ha moment. Hardwick fans and the Twihards who follow her and Cam Gigandet will love it nonetheless.
Total Rating: C+
Reviewed by: JM Willis