I did enjoy Hard Candy, the film is unquestionably sabotaged
by logic errors in the second act which undermine the integrity
of the plot the film is built upon.
wit: what Hard Candy purports to chronicle is one sunny
afternoon in the life of a fourteen year old girl as she exacts
a horrific revenge upon a thirtysomething with an alarming fetish
first half of the film is solid and gets the job done quite effectively.
As the girl and her captive exchanged dialogue, the ideas discussed
and the actions witnessed on screen generated an atmosphere of
distinct discomfort for me. There's no doubt in my mind that the
filmmakers were going for just that reaction and I applaud them
for successfully pulling it off.
then we get to the torture-as-justice aspect of the film, where
the girl reveals that her imprisonment of the pedophile is merely
setting the stage for some off-the-cuff surgery (if your mind
is conjuring dark images as you read that sentence, chances are
you're on the right track so I'll leave it at that).
cracks in the foundation of the film appear when the girl explains
that she's doing this because the punishment for pedophiles in
society isn't harsh enough. Look, I have no sympathy for child
molesters or their twisted ilk, but that's just outright bullshit.
The life of a convicted pedophile is one of social rejection,
loathing, condemnation and that's if they survive a stint in prison,
where a pedophile in general population has a shorter life expectancy
than the spin off of the televsion series M*A*S*H.
there's the about face the film perpetrates in the last fifteen
minutes. What started out as a piece with psychological overtones
(suggesting that the young girl herself is dangerously disturbed)
transforms into some "adolescent as avenging angel"
melodrama in the very last act. Great..except that going by the
films own logic, anyone related to the prisoner now has moral
justification for hunting her down and doing to her what she did
Candy is an intriguing film with solid central performances,
but in the end I felt it undermined it's own premise by not demonstrating
the strength of its initial convictions. Hell, by the time the
end credits rolled, I wasn't really certain as to what those convictions
out of ten movies which are as emotionally conflicted as the average