Remember The Grifters with Angelica Huston and John Cusack and how twisted their relationship was pulling the wool over eyes of their unsuspecting victims aka gangsters? It was one of the most intriguing films in that genre until now.
In Kajillionaire, two con artists, spend 26 years training their only daughter Old Dolio how to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. During a desperate and ill-conceived heist, they charm a gorgeous, savvy stranger into joining them, only to have their entire world flipped and uprooted.
An unrecognizable Debra Winger (Theresa), always stellar and underrated Richard Jenkins (Robert), etherial Evan Rachel Wood (Old Dolio) and an astute, witty Gina Rodriguez (Melanie) make up this ensemble of actors who take Miranda July’s script and turns it upside down. Old Dolio has spent a lifetime living a nomad-is type of lifestyle with parents who have no respect for any human beings – not her, not themselves nor anyone who happens to block their path of whatever goodies they have set their sights on. Evan Rachel Wood is like a cinematic chameleon changing and shifting into whatever a role demands of her and her portrayal Old Dolio is no exception. Gina Rodriguez as Melanie could be perceived as Old Dolio’s conscious and light at the end of the tunnel. She is smart, savvy and amazingly observant and just as emotionally broken. So much so, that the two discover they are better together.
In her third film and unique avant-garde method of filmmaking Miranda July, reveals and spotlights a world in which one is forced to shed and mourn their old lives in order to become reborn with a brand new chapter leading to love, light and infinite possibilities.
Kajillionaire has a few pacing issues mid-way, but overall is a great reminder that all human beings have one life to live. Do you want to make a difference, become mundane, stay stuck or take a giant leap forward. I choose moving forward into my intended destiny every single time.