BAD GIRL, Australia, 2016. Starring Sara West, Samara Weaving, Benjamin Winspear, Felicity Price, Rebecca Massey. Directed by Fin Edquist. 87 minutes. Rated MA (Strong coarse language and drug use).
In many ways, despite the setting in the present, this is something of an old-fashioned melodrama, a drama about a psychotic character and the havoc that she can wreak.
Bad Girl was filmed in Western Australia, the countryside and a small town with the prospect of wealthy homebuyers attracted by modern architecture to move out of the city to live in comfort. At the opening of the film, we see the Anderson’s, Peter and Michelle(Benjamiin Winspear and Felicity Price), with their rebellious daughter, Amy (Sara West), sitting in the back of the car, sullen, only 17 but having had trouble with the police and institutions. The parents hope that she will be rehabilitated and bond with them as they move to the modern house that Peter has designed. Actually, things are not all that easy and he is becoming dependent on visitors from China to purchase his units.
Some of the neighbours a friendly, and a young girl, Chloe (Samara Weaving), turns up offering to clean the house as she says she is doing for other homes around the town. She is a very pretty girl but Peter Anderson is wary though Michelle reaches out to her.
A good part of the film shows the bonding between Amy and Chloe, especially as Amy intends to run away from home but those who are going with her fail to show up and a drunken Amy walks on the local bridge railings in the middle of the night, only to be rescued by Chloe. Chloe does do the jobs in the house, has long talks with Amy, especially after Amy runs away again and has commandeered the car owned by two young men and drives it recklessly. Amy reveals that she has been adopted, Peter and Michelle having adopted out their baby when they were studying and were too young to keep it. Chloe’s idea is that Amy should go on to a website and the people to her natural parents to make contact – which they seem to do.
Things are difficult at home, Amy and Chloe become firm friends, especially with a sexual attraction.
Review should probably end here, not taking the plot developments any further but leaving them to the audience as the details become more and more complicated, Chloe becoming more and more part of the household, seeming to become indispensable to Peter and Michelle while Amy seems to be more and more rebellious, disappearing from the house.
The plot becomes more melodramatic torch the end, with touches of blood and violence, keeping the audience fairly alert, some suspense and twists, with a happy ending come thing coming as something of a relief!
Not bad of its kind.
Peter Malone MSC is an Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and
Curious films. Released April 27th