Fun Movie Review
Fun, the more recent of the two films, is the story of two American middle-class teens, one (Renee Humphrey's Hillary) is the victim of an abusive father, the other (Alicia Witt's Bonnie) is an ultra-hyper compulsive liar. The two discover an instant bond and after one fun-filled day of adventure, they decide to end the day's games with the brutal murder of a local grandmother whose primary preoccupation is with BINGO. For "fun."
Heavenly Creatures, 1994's stunner (and Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay), was a very similar tale of obsession among two friends which ends in the murder of one of the girls' mother. Heavenly Creatures was a true story made to seem almost unreal. Fun is fiction, and it's almost too believable.
Half of the film was shot in mock-documentary fashion, on grainy, black and white Super 16mm. This half of the movie follows the girls after their conviction for the murder. The other half of the picture is in vivid color, and traces the events of the fateful day. The two halves are beautifully intercut together with seamless editing by Monica Lightstone.
Director Rafael Zelinsky does a remarkable job as well, balancing the angelic looks of two girls, who only want to have fun, with the dark and twisted desires that apparently lurk beneath their surfaces. Credit has to go to Witt and Humphrey as well (both won acting awards at Sundance), who play their parts with sublime perfection. Humphrey is a bit mature for her 15 year-old character, but Witt is an undeniable chameleon at taking on a persona and making it her own.
Although the film is a bit draggy during some of the prison scenes and has a questionable performance by Leslie Hope as the girls' crusty counselor, there's very little to complain about. The power of Fun is in watching these girls embrace their crime, even as they face an eternity in prison in painful separation from each other. They loved the murder; they have no remorse. It was "nuclear." It was "fun." The moral implications weigh heavy on the viewer, and it stays with you for days afterward. Ultimately, the film serves as a serious and disturbing reminder that "fun" can be anything but.
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