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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Movie Review - Krisha

Krisha (2016)
Starring Krisha Fairchild, Robyn Fairchild, Trey Edward Shults, Bill Wise, and Billie Fairchild
Directed by Trey Edward Shults
***This film is currently streaming via Amazon Prime***

The debut feature of writer-director Trey Edward Shults, Krisha is also the debut of actress Krisha Fairchild portraying the film's titular character in a tour de force, oftentimes scary, role as a sixty-something woman who returns home to a family get-together after a ten-year absence.  As the Thanksgiving Day festivities unfold around her, Krisha's desires to reconnect with her son Trey (portrayed by the director himself) and sister Robyn (Robyn Fairchild) begin to fall apart as her past indiscretions rear their ugly heads again and the reasons she abandoned her family come back to the surface.

Krisha is undoubtedly an "indie" piece, obviously low budget taking place in one house on one day throughout its runtime and filled with actors whom we've likely never seen before.  However, Trey Edward Shults and his cinematographer have a keen eye in that their lensing of the picture helps the audience to tap into Krisha's uncomfortable panic as she attempts to reconcile with her family.  Incredibly long unceasing takes or a spinning dizzying camera are just a few of the ways Shults mirrors Krisha's emotional state visually.  Sure, Shults' tale could've maybe used a scene edit or two and I found the film's horror-like score a little off-putting in the humanistic story, but this flick definitely proves that Shults is a filmmaker to watch in the future.

At its center, though, is a magnificent performance from Shults' real-life aunt Krisha Fairchild who brings heartbreak and pain to the title character.  From the opening long-take where we see Krisha put on a stoic front as she meets her family again only to have it begin to crumble as soon as her son decides to all but ignore her presence, it's obvious that Fairchild is the real deal.  As her hopes for a positive outcome begin to diminish, Fairchild perfectly conveys the downward spiral into which Krisha quickly falls, leading to a finale that feels heartbreaking despite its inevitability at the outset.  Krisha isn't a perfect film, yet my grade below may be a bit deceiving (despite the fact that it's a perfectly acceptable grade).  In this film, we see the promise in both its filmmaker and its leading lady, both of whom I'd enjoy seeing more from in the future and both of whom are reasons for any cinephile to give this a watch.

The RyMickey Rating:  B

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