Movie Reviews

Kajillionaire Review: Off-beat Comedy for the Cinephile

Kajillionaire Review: Off-beat Comedy for the Cinephile
Kajillionaire is an off-beat examination of connection inside an emotional coming-of-age tale with an intricate plot, great performances, and smart script.

Kajillionaire starts as a simple unassuming story about a family of grifters. The Dynes solely focus on small-time scams because trying to be a kajillionaire is how they get you hooked.

It’s not clear who these people exactly are and how they became conspiracy-loving cons, but you can see that the elderly parents are the mastermind while the daughter does the work. The total profit is split equally three ways.

The trio somehow manages to get by until they’re 3 months behind rent, and they have to come up with the cash in two weeks or else they’ll lose the office space where they live.

Old Dolio, a 26-year old woman who wears oversized clothes, speaks in a grave monotone, and painfully sensitive to physical contact, comes up with a plan. Halfway through this travel insurance scam, the elderly grifters meet Melanie, a bubbly girl who’s looking for a thrill and hooks the trio into a scheme.

All of this sounds aimless, but every scene in this movie is important that a word, gesture, and interaction becomes a plot point.

Old Dolio is exposed to situations that reveal how dysfunctional her upbringing is – she was taught how to forge a signature before she learned how to write. In one sad and funny scene, Melanie and The Dynes pretend to act like a regular suburban family going about their day, while a lonely dying old man listens to the sounds of cutlery and conversations in the bedroom.

Melanie is the main trigger behind these realizations and she helps Old Dolio discover her codependent relationship with her parents. Evan Rachel Wood is amazing in this role as a psychologically and emotionally stunted young woman, whose entire life has been so programmed she can identify which supermarket aisle you can safely steal from based on the cameras’ blind spot.

Kajillionaire is a contrived wacky movie that’s slow and obnoxious for those who don’t have an adventurous movie palate or not a Miranda July fan. But its idiosyncrasies and unwavering voice make it unique. It is a precisely executed story with clear intentions and purpose, supported by great acting performances.

At the surface, Kajillionaire is an emotional coming-of-age tale that builds up to a gut-punching climax. Underneath is a movie about connections and how people relate to each other.

Old Dolio is an introvert who learns to escape her parents’ cynical world. They have a warped view of tough love that’s used for their own validation. She’s helped by Melanie who realizes that the best things in life lie in intangible gifts.

In the end, Old Dolio and Melanie learn what truly matters the most to them. Genuine connections aren’t made through an exchange, it’s in the ways we fulfil each other without expectations.

Kajillionaire

10

Kajillionaire is an off-beat examination of connection inside an emotional coming-of-age tale with an intricate plot, great performances, and smart script.

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