A quirky, bizarre film that aspires to be more than it is, Kajillionaire simply fails to climb out of the strange bog it establishes for itself, instead winding up as a tour de force in cinematic boredom.
Writer/director Miranda July helms this odd story of two con artists and their 20-something daughter, constantly stealing and scamming until a stranger enters the picture and derails their lives. Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger star as the parents while Evan Rachel Wood plays Old Dolio, the sheltered daughter. There simply is not much here to work with. The script is a dull exercise in storytelling that fails to weave together an accessible narrative, wasting the talents of those involved with lackluster characters that are forgettable as soon as the credits roll. Gina Rodriquez, the aforementioned stranger who enters the family’s orbit, is most at home in her role, as limited as it is.
There is a message buried deep somewhere within Kajillionaire, though it never quite reveals itself. Moments of levity and humor come and go, exchanged for cringeworthy interactions that don’t do much to pull the audience in. Perhaps the ultimate goal of exploring Old Dolio’s journey was to show the ability to grow out of the confines of the life that we find ourselves in, I’m not sure. Ultimately the film flatlines somewhere in the middle and never quite recovers, instead feeling as though you’re watching something twice the length that drags you to the end with it.
Kajillionaire hits theaters Friday.
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