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Kalifornia (1993)

Kalifornia

Director:
Dominic Sena

Starring:
Brad Pitt, David Duchovny, Michelle Forbes, Juliette Lewis

Running time:
117 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
True Romance, American Psycho

 

Couple Brian (Duchovny) and Carrie (Forbes) decide to drive to California, stopping along the way at murder sites for a book Brian is writing. Brian decides to find companions via a college noticeboard who are also California bound in order to pay for half of the trip. Early (Pitt) and his girlfriend Adele (Lewis) are the only applicants so the four of them head off, each party unsure of the other.

When it becomes apparent that Early is not who everyone expected, Brian and Carrie get a much closer look at murders than they originally anticipated.

Despite starring some of the biggest names in film and television from the 90s, Kalifornia is a relatively unknown film in most circles. This is disappointing as I quite enjoyed it.

The actors all perform well in their respective roles. Duchovny plays the friendly city slicker, willing to overlook the uncouth habits of his new companions. Forbes as the more uptight city girl who makes no effort to hide her distrust and dislike. Lewis as the slow country girl who blindly fell for the wrong boy. Finally there is Pitt as the cunning killer.

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about Kalifornia was a lack of character development. The film features four main characters yet we only really get an in-depth look at the character of Adele. Even this is primarily to further demonstrate how evil Early truly is.

I enjoyed the sense of realism that Kalifornia brings to the table. The gritty atmosphere only enhances this. There’s no mask, no killer returning from a clearly fatal wound, no whodunnit. There is just a man who snaps. Repeatedly.

Overall Kalifornia is a good representation of the crime genre. It’s worth taking a look if you are a fan of crime films or true crime stories.

Rating: 3/5

“Early don’t eat breakfast. He thinks it’s a conspiracy put together by the cereal people.”

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