Starring Julia Batelaan, Emma De Paauw, Joost Bolt
Directed by Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese
While I never truly embraced the whole Mad Max style of films, I always have had a soft spot in my heart for a good apocalyptic scenario-type movie, complete with sweeping imagery of desolation caused by the errors of man, and strong enough character representation to hold the story together…then I was asked to review Molly.
Picture a not too far-off future, and the ruins of a once robust society have been reduced to dust, trampled upon by whomever has managed to survive the “cleansing” if you will. The film centers around young Molly (Batelaan), a bookish recluse who has managed to sustain in this dystopian world on her brains and mysteriously-effective brawn when the shit hits the fan. Across the wasteland stands a man known as Deacon (Bolt), and he’s about as sleazy and opportunistic as they come, literally infecting hordes of poor souls with the disease that’s rendered the remaining lives left into blood-thirsty savages. His plan is to capture young Molly and put her survival skills on display in a Thunderdome-typed arena (see, the Mad Max references keep bubbling to the surface). Along Molly’s travels she encounters a child (de Paauw) that she feels the need to take care of, and now that she’s got this little saddlebag on her hip day and night, the odds of her fighting off the evil masses just went way up.
While we’re on the subject of fighting, I think it’s the way that the brawls are presented here are the saving grace – instead of hokey high-speed, carefully thought out displays of choreographed nonsense, we get dust-ups that seem legit. Clunky, slowed-down action is the name of the scrap-game, with Molly’s character tying to overcome her own clumsiness in order to win each life-saving bit of combat. Dialogue is at somewhat of a premium, and for me that was a blessing in disguise, mainly due to the fact that when someone uttered a line or two, it came off as dry as the open air of the apocalypse – boring, uninspiring and overwhelmingly unproductive for what Meuwese and Bongers were putting out for the audience. Visually, the film is striking – canvassing shots of a bygone world and colors that leapt off of the screen, all making for a picture that definitely had its faults, but for the purist, I think that Molly could very well be a nice addition to a Mad Max aficionado’s library until the next installment hits.