Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley, 2016): USA

Reviewed by Ellia Rodriguez. Viewed at AFI Fest 2017.

Thoroughbreds is a dark comedy about an estranged friendship between two very different young women who were once really close friends. Amanda is one of these disturbed girls played by actor Olivia Cooke, while the other is Lily played by actor Anya Taylor-Joy. There seems to have been an example of mise-en-scene that existed between these two. Now they are trying to recapture their torn friendship they progresses through the film into a new type of friendship. Throughout the movie we see it through a richer than average lifestyle with these disconnected youths. We also see a detachment between the parents with each other and kids with this film.

This film was a directorial debut at the AFI Fest 2017. Cory Finley is the director and writer of this dark comedy film. In this film the director was able to get his first choice for actors for these characters. This film was based on a stage production. This was also written by Cory Finley and the world premier of this film will be January 21st.

During this film these disconnected youths decide to put lives in thier own hands. As the moive progresses we learn that lily doesn’t have fond feelings for her step-father. Then some decsions are made by her stepfather that cause her to get upset at him even more. She decides that she wants to kill him and she wants Amanda’s help to accompilsh this task. Enter a third player into this planned murder, Tim played by late actor Anton Yelchin. It is then concluded by lily and Amanda to have Tim do the actual deed. During the disscusion of the plan Tim ends up getting blackmailed into to doing it. When it comes down to the murder itself Tim does not end up killing the step-dad.

From this we can see that the setting for most of this film is in a richer lifestyle which even some of the other characters in the story are not use to. With the jarring musical score of big drums and horror like tones ends up being a big contrast with the lush views of the expensive house. Which I can conclude that the director wanted to make a point of this.

Amanda revels to Lily at one point that she has never actually had real feelings. She is just a impersonator of emotions. After this is explained to lily it is later used as reasoning for Amanda to help Lily with this murder. Which I believe in the end the director wanted to show that Amanda truly does have feelings when she gives the ultimate sacrifice for her friendship with Lily.

In conclusion, the family life in is worldview of rich is not the normal or average lifestyle of youths. We see this theme through the various relationships that these young women have with their family and each other. This is a wonderful first directorial debut by Cory Finley and worth anyone’s time to go out and watch.

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