Spoilers are not a committee.
This movie has a lot going for it. There’s an exploration of how anxiety and fear can sabotage our decisions. I would’ve loved it for it to be more than single layer of depth but I welcome at least the exploration. There’s a couple of details that I think could’ve work better. It’s going to be a challenge to discuss though without giving anything away, hence the spoiler remark. We’ll get into that of course, because otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it.
Violet (2021) was written and directed by Justine Bateman. Violet (Olivia Munn) is a movie producer that lives her life with a constant reminder of her fears and doubts manifested in an inside voice, a conscience of sorts that appears to keep her from taking risky decisions and keeps her on the safe path. As a result, she’s constantly second guessing her instincts and restraining herself from showing any initiative in front of her peers, her employees or her boss.
As a result, Violet is obviously keeping everyone she loves at a distance and accommodating the only the most toxic people that serve her career. It is obvious for everyone except for herself that those people only serve themselves. As she starts to have moments of doubting what she has believed to be the safe choices provided by the voice in her head, she slowly rediscovers herself. This works because of Olivia Munn’s performance as the titular character.
However the achievement is mostly only one-layered. Yes, Violet discovers doing the opposite works. And this crystallizes the feeling of anxiety pretty well, but the trial an error only goes so far. Violet’s life almost automatically gets better. She suddenly notices the perfect guy she’s been staying with, starts listening to her best friend, stands up to her rude boss, gets the perfect job that’s been waiting for her, etc. It’s basically the perfect life with no false starts and no mistakes. I’d say having one thing fail in which Violet still recognizes she’s better off taking risks even if she fails would’ve worked a lot better for me. I’m also not sure why she doesn’t get some closure with her mother’s passing for herself.
Much recommended with reservations. It’s got a lot more going for it than the usual character growth, with a great performance by Olivia Munn in the main role. I’d wish it would go deeper and not give the protagonist literally the best life with the perfect relationship and career instantly but just set Violet on her way would’ve feel a little less idyllic. Very much worth a watch for Olivia’s performance, but the fairytale finale makes the first half a lot more realistic than the second.
That will do for now.