- BOTTOM LINE: A Spectacular Misfire
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Comedy|
What is the Story about?
Kit (Brie Larson) refuses to grow and is stuck in a time warp with her fantasies about Unicorn. Despite repeated attempts by the parents to socialize Kit fails to do so. However, after a point, she relents and joins a job. What happens when she gets a mysterious offer from a salesman after entering the job and how it affects her is what the film is all about?
Brie Larson is a terrific performer, but here in Unicorn Store, she fails to get the act straight. It could be a result of her taking on the directorial reigns as well. The actress struggles to impress much like her character which is a confused lot.
It is a combination of multiple things like character detailing, writing and direction that lets down the performer in Brie Larson. Still, even in this mess of a situation, she is the one who holds Unicorn Store together, albeit briefly with her lovely expressions here and there. Apart from those few moments, it is a forgettable outing.
Direction By Brie Larson?
Brie Larson, the actor, makes her debut as a director with Unicorn Store. It might appear a simple story, but it is a tough subject to execute. Unfortunately for her, she fails spectacularly.
For starters, it is hard to pin down an actual plot for the movie. At every turn that arrives, Unicorn Store takes a different direction. A coming of age drama, fantasy, workplace harassment, tender realistic romance, and what not, they are all rolled into a single narrative giving it a weird and mixed genre tone.
Unicorn Store could still have worked if the writing was strong and cohesive offering proper insight into the happenings. Nothing of those sorts happen. There is a dialogue that comes towards the end regarding failing in doing what one loves makes one grow and become an adult. It strikes immediately and offers a unique perspective on failure. The movie needed more gems like that and overall cohesive writing to really make a mark.
The way the narrative is built, frankly, it would be hard to complete the Unicorn Store in one go. There is bound to be utter frustration like the character of ‘The Salesman’ who yells at Kit. If one can bear through everything, there is a breezy lovable portion towards the end which carries a feel. Sadly, that is a small segment, and one wouldn’t go through the pain of the entire narrative to reach those moments.
Overall, Unicorn Store is a weird mishmash lacking a clear plot. It fails spectacularly, and that might have a tiny audience. For the larger segment, it is easily avoidable.
Samuel J Jackson plays himself in yet another fancy get up. Despite being repetitive, he still commands a presence only he can and makes us listen to what he says. Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford are lovable as parents, more so the former with her endearing quality. Hamish Linklater stands out due to his character and the total deadpan act he came up with. Mamoudou Athie starts plainly but grows well to be liked by the end. The rest have small parts and are okay.
Music and other departments?
The music by Alex Greenwald is beautiful. It gives a unique feel to the proceedings. Bret Pawlak’s cinematography gives a unique texture to the film. These two departments come across as the only consistent things in this inconsistent narrative. The editing by Jennifer Vecchierello is weak. The sense of a tightly knit narrative is missing, and emotions are all over the place. The writing is poor barring a couple of sequences towards the end.
Did I enjoy it?
Will you recommend it?
Unicorn Store Review Review by Siddartha Toleti
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