Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Hard Candy

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from Hard Candy, although I vaguely knew it had something to do with paedophilia and chatroom pickups. (Readers may know that I prefer to go into films with as little knowledge of the plot as possible.)

Essentially, this film is a two-hander, and one could easily believe that it might originally have been written as a stage play (I don't know whether it was or not, but it has that vibe). We have the Internet prowler, trawling the Web for underage girls, and we have an underage girl.

They arrange to meet at a café. On the wall near the table they choose, we see a poster requesting information about a missing schoolgirl. The guy tells the girl he's a photographer; he seduces her on a mental level; she flirts with him on a sexual level. We feel she's playing a dangerous game -- that this guy will eat her and spit her out, and no one will ever know they met.

She goes back to his place...

Strangely enough, I felt this film was a little slow to get going. That said, it may have been solely that it was quite uncomfortable in those opening scenes, and that as a viewer you almost want not to be there, watching this seedy meeting unfold. But once the pair go back to the guy's house, the pace picks up.

I won't give away any spoilers (as is my way), and I would urge anyone considering watching this to learn no more about the film than what I have revealed above.

There are elements in the film that are really good (such as the general feeling of discomfort and unease that is evoked), and there are things that detract. One of the latter is the film's length: even at just 103 minutes, it's about quarter of an hour too long.

Overall, though, this was an interesting and diverting film, better than some others I have seen on a similar theme.

Acting: 13
Story: 13
Direction: 14
Enjoyment: 13
Involvement: 14
Total: 67

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