by Bentley, published on July 9, 2006 at 10:21AM|
Don't get me wrong. It is clear that David Slade's 'Hard Candy' is not pro-paedophilia - but its coverage of the material in the film and some of the stories that it brings to the surface clearly make is a very difficult film to watch (and must have been quite difficult to write).
The story is one of revenge. A 14-year-old girl entraps a 32-year-old paedophile on the Internet, gets herself invited to his home and quickly drugs him, straps his down and torments him. In a slightly less well made film this would have been an illegal porno that some sicko would have gotten off to - but here is just makes it a very challenging pierce that I found very hard to watch but that I still loved.
Jeff (Patrick Wilson) is a photographer who hangs out in teen chat rooms and strikes up what can only be a predatory friendship with Hayley (Ellen Page). She meets him at a coffee shop, but soon suggestively says they should go back to his place. She won't accept a drink made by him - but instead makes new drinks which she spikes and he soon passes out and wakes up to find himself secured to a chair. Both actors do absolutely amazing performances. Ellen Page was 17 when she made the film and is brilliant. She plays a calm, methodical and intelligent girl who announces that she is going to castrate Jeff - and has all the props ready to do this. You'll have to watch to see if she actually goes through with it.
She does this after finding his stash of unsavoury porn and after he begs. It is an interesting shift in the power dynamic and she has planned the whole thing out to get the result that she wants. While being a horrifying anti-paedophilia story - it goes a little too far in the other direction with its almost sadomasochist behaviour. Still this is what makes it a very challenging story - and what made me enjoy it so much. I like a film that puts me on the edge of my seat and wondering where it will go next.
Well worth checking out if you can handle the subject matter.
Rating: 5 out of 5