When I first looked up what STRAY DOLLS was about, there wasn’t much to go on beyond “a petty crime spirals out of control.” That generalization can be said about most crime-like films, but luckily this one delivered big. A well-written complex story with concrete characters featuring drama and turmoil brewing around every corner.
This crime thriller was directed by Sonejuhi Sinha as well as co-written by herself and Charlotte Rabate. The film stars Olivia DeJonge, Geetanjali Thapa, Cynthia Nixon, and Robert Aramayo. The story centers around two troubled ladies, Dallas (DeJonge) and Riz (Thapa). Both are in dire need of money and want to escape far away from where they currently are, but one petty crime leads to another and soon everything spirals out of control.
I really enjoyed this story. As someone who grew up poor, I was lucky to have supportive and caring parents, especially my mom. I never felt like I was without – she always provided even when she had nothing. However, when you’re poor and have no one, it’s easy to turn to drugs and criminal activities. Dallas and Ritz may come from different backgrounds, but they are both sick of fighting to survive and getting nowhere and that common ground is what their relationship is built on. They’re willing to do anything, one big robbery, and then they can leave this shit hole forever. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned.
Olivia DeJonge and Geetanjali Thapa are both equally brilliant in STRAY DOLLS. They have a unique chemistry and friendship that is unhealthy but also special. I’ve been a huge fan of Olivia DeJonge ever since M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. She truly shines in this role, delivering her best performance to date. She effortlessly portrays a broken, drug-addicted woman who wants nothing more than to be loved.
I love the use of imagery and sound in this film. It creates a more intense and dramatic atmosphere. There’s a scene in which a character is dying and simultaneously a bug is flapping its wings frantically against the window. As the person takes their breath, the wings flap slower and then stop suddenly. It’s perfect.
STRAY DOLLS is the perfect crime thriller that is packed full of drama, unhealthy relationships, and the American dream. If you love films about real people with real struggles, this film is for you! STRAY DOLLS arrives on VOD April 10th.