Director and writer Chad Faust co-stars with Bella Thorne in his first feature film “Girl.” The twisted tale follows Thorne’s character who has no name, we only get to know her as “Girl” as she traipses through a grungy, dusty small town in search of her absentee father. Seeking revenge for her mother, “Mama” (Elizabeth Saunders) Girl, yielding an axe, is determined to find her father and get the payback she deserves in more ways than one.
I have seen Bella Thorne in minor roles in other films and on TV, but this is my first time watching her as the lead. Not only does she deliver as Girl, she knocks it out of the park. Her performance, and the film in general, remind of a grittier “Winter’s Bone” though, in my truthful opinion, Thorne outshines Jennifer Lawrence here. She has the perfect rough edges to carry a piece like this, and holds the screen so well throughout the entire film that even her character, who doesn’t talk to much during the first act, is interesting to watch.
We first meet Girl traveling by bus to the grungy town her father resides in. Upon her arrival she encounters an array of townspeople who seem to already know more about her and her background than she knows about herself. Even with an ominous feeling in the air Girl is determined; when the dive bar’s phone book reveals her fathers’ address she sets out to meet him face to face and heads for his house on foot.
While walking she encounters a sleazy, suspicious looking sheriff played by Mickey Rourke who also really shines here and is as good as he was in “The Wrestler.” When she finally makes it to her father’s house she discovers he has been murdered, and is now more determined than ever to solve the mystery of who did it and why.
What unfolds after is an interesting type of thriller. Girl is not only trying to solve a murder, she’s also trying to figure out who she is, where she came from, and who is keeping secrets from her and why. There’s violence, there’s drama, and touches of horror; a real rollercoaster ride I didn’t mind being on.
What a debut from Chad Faust, and performance from Bella Thorne. This film is excellent, it’s like “Kill Bill” married “Winter’s Bone.” It’s dark, it’s dramatic, it has great suspense and pacing throughout and, the most interesting aspect of this piece to me is that there’s almost an unexpected simplicity to it. The locations are simple, the town is simple, the sets are simple. Nothing is overdone, in fact, it is almost underdone to the point where the audience can really focus on the story and the actors which is so greatly appreciated in an era of filmmaking that seems to love doing too much.
This movie is old school in that way, simplicity in filmmaking is truly under appreciated talent and art form; less is most certainly more. This is a stripped down story for the modern era, with our unlikely hero here being a young girl in a role we don’t normally get to see young women or any women in. She’s a badass protagonist who almost isn’t a protagonist, and gives me all kinds of Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill”) vibes and I’m here for it. This is definitely one to watch, it will hold your attention and has tons of commercial appeal. Chad Faust will be a name to look out for in the future.
We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.