Dark Horse

A lighter approach by Todd Solondz
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Always eager to infuse his films with a provocative sense of pitch black humour, Todd Solondz takes a lighter approach in Dark Horse.

Abe (Jordan Gelber) has let life pass him by. Now in his thirties, living with his parents and working a seemingly tokenistic job for his father’s company, his main problem is that he’s terminally uncool. So when the out of his league Miranda (Selma Blair) agrees to his proposal, things are looking up. Her vague mental state, however, suggests that all is not well.

The first surprise is that Abe is primarily a sympathetic character; a rarity for core figures in Solondz’s filmography. Sure, his lack of self-awareness is the film’s prime provoker of jokes, but he’s essentially a nice guy whose suffering is undeserved. The second surprise is a lack of controversy as Solondz’s caustic streak takes a back seat. Humanity is depicted less bleakly than before, as everyone seems to have some good about them aside from Abe’s father (Christopher Walken), suggesting that Solondz can excel with less abrasive material.

Disappointingly, Solondz doesn’t know where to take his characters, leaving Dark Horse to dissolve into a confusing mess in which identifying the narrative direction or any deeper meaning is impossible.

6/10

Words by BEN HOPKINS




DARK HORSE
DIRECTOR TODD SOLONDZ
RELEASED OUT NOW
CERT
AXIOM FILMS

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