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Violet & Daisy Review: Sweet and Ultraviolent
Violet and Daisy would kill for a dress from their pop music idol, Barbie Sunday. Since they’re assassins for hire, that works out pretty good. Alexis Bledel’s Violet is the eighth best killer in their agency, while Saoirse Ronan’s Daisy is the Ninth. They wear their numbers on all their clothes. This seems like something out of Dr. Seuss, and that’s a pretty good indication of how seriously Violet & Daisy takes reality, which is not very seriously at all.
This is reinforced in the opening scene, where the girls are dressed as pizza delivery nuns and Violet spends just as much time blowing chewing gum bubbles as she does shooting at their targets. The girls play patty cake with their contact, Russ (Danny Trejo) and later on with James Galdofini as well. The weirdness is a thread throughout the whole movie, which makes the film surrealistic and dreamy, while still remaining violent. Watch for the Internal Bleeding Dance. There are lots of moments that would make no sense in other films, but once you catch the vibe of Violet & Daisy, those events at least fit into their world, even if they still seem odd.
Violet and Daisy are supposed to be on vacation, but they take one more job to pay for their Barbie Sunday dresses. The man they’re supposed to kill is James Gandolfini, who stole a bunch of money from a bad man and then taunted him about it.
The bulk of the film takes place in his apartment, with occasional forays out for things, like more bullets. The pace might be a bit of an issue for some, because despite the guns and the moments of violence, it’s more about the characters than anything else. James Gandolfini, who the girls call Mister, is a sometimes kind, sometimes gruff guy waiting for and resigned to death. He has his secrets, which Daisy weasels out of him, though he manages to return the favor. Violet stays more of a mystery, though you come to understand some things about her.
Saoirse Ronan’s done this kind of role before in Hannah, though her character there was much less naïve than Daisy is here. She’s younger than Violet, though we’re not sure by how much. When she celebrates her eighteenth birthday, Violet mentions that she can now be charged as an adult for her crimes, to which they both nod seriously and then go back to discussing something sunnier. Daisy is the sweeter of the two, probably to highlight just how cold Violet can be.
It’s interesting to watch Alexis Bledel, who even in Sin City was a bit on the naïve side, play the cold, hard killer and yet still have a happy perky side. She switches easily from one to the other, and both are believable.
The biggest question in my mind, and one that’s never even touched on in the film, is how did these girls get mixed up in a world of assassination? It’s something that can be sort of hard to accept, but that you forget about later once the movie progresses. Violet & Daisy brings up other questions, most relating to their pasts, that get either vague answers or none at all. While I’m not sure we needed to know every detail of their lives before their current job, it keeps us at a bit of a distance from them.
Violet & Daisy is a strange movie but a good one. The acting is never in question, even during the oddest of exchanges. Probably the best way to know if you’ll like the film is to see it.