KAJILLIONAIRE, the latest release from writer/director Miranda July, opened yesterday to mixed critical and audience reviews and I can certainly understand why. On the one hand, I found the movie to be funny, emotional and entertaining. Yet, it has its slow moments and the characters are so quirky that the humor sometimes reads more as annoying.
That being said, Evan Rachel Wood gives an impressive performance as Old Dolio, a young woman whose parents (Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger) are possibly at the top of a “most manipulative” list and have trained their daughter to hustle, steal and cheat as a way of life. During a chance meeting with a stranger named Melanie (Gina Rodriguez), an elaborate scam is hatched – propelling Old Dolio into a journey of self-awareness and ultimately self-fulfillment outside of the life she’s known.
Character-driven, with very limited action, this is a tale of how poor choices and upbringing affect people and the effort it takes to find freedom outside of those norms. It’s a dramedy but also a love story – in which Old Dolio finds an affection that escaped her as a daughter, as well as a self-love that informed her she deserved more.
This isn’t the movie for you if it’s a fast story you’re seeking, but for those willing to take the ride it’s a witty and heartstring-tugging tale that ultimately leaves the viewer feeling hopeful. I rate it 3 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
KAJILLIONAIRE is out now in select theaters. Get additional info and updates about the film at the official website www.focusfeatures.com/kajillionaire.
Until next thought, Thomasena