Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Candy Too Hard To Swallow, Jeff?

He is bespectacled.

He loves photography.

He loves the internet.

He has many fans over the internet.

He meets people over the internet.

His name is...... Jeff.

Not Jeff Ooi lah! I'm talking about Jeff Kohlver, the character from Hard Candy, which I saw yesterday.

This Patrick Wilson as Jeff, lar!

Warning: Plot spoilers ahead.

Here's the poster...

And here's the synopsis...

Hard Candy is a 2006 film about Hayley Stark, a 14-year-old girl who meets Jeff, a thirty-two year old photographer/ephebophile. The two first get to know each other on the Internet before meeting in person at a local coffee shop, which results in a trip to Jeff's home. However, Jeff soon learns that Hayley isn't as innocent as she appears. Before he knows it, Hayley is violently coercing Jeff's secrets out, like his particular penchant for young girls, and the mystery behind classmate Donna Mauer's disappearance.

Read a more detailed synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes.

Here's the trailer if you're interested...

The film is rated '18' by BBFC although NO actual sexual organs or sexual acts were shown, unlike in 9 Songs.

Daily Mail called it as 'This year's most controversial thriller'. Rotten Tomotoes' current rating is 65%. They came out with a consensus review of:

Disturbing, controversial, but entirely engrossing, Hard Candy is well written with strong lead performances, especially that of newcomer Ellen Page ( could also be seen in X-Men: The Last Stand playing Shadowcat). A movie that stays with the viewer long after leaving the theater.

"I'm 19 years old now but I am 14 in this film!"

But in 5 words, I would describe the film as:

'Doubtful innocence' with 'excruciating surgery'

Another S&M fair for you all besides the Da Vinci Code flagellation's one.

Yes, as you read from the synopsis, Jeff, the male photographer is allegedly a paedophile, 'pathetically filming and photographing naked innocent teenage girls'. But were the photos shown in the film? Were the acts of photographing shown? And at the same time, Hayley, the lovey-dovey white-innocent teenager in the film, is playing the S&M cat-and-mouse game with Jeff. Why would such an innocent do that to him? Has Jeff harmed her or her friend before this? Why would she want to perform a surgery (which I would do to myself if Malaysians would to believe Elie) on him? And everything seemed to be planned before hand!

I don't want to spoil you by giving you answers for these so see it at your local cinemas (pretty sure it will be banned in Malaysia) or source it from Uncle Ho or Auntie Torrent.

But personally, I think the core of the story (or message) is good there but it was made too soft. But perhaps the hard way was already taken by the Saw series. And the 'paedophile' is way too cute and young to be one. But perhaps again, the makers want to clear the stereotype and that paedophiles do come in all shapes and sizes.

Kids, paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes, including very cute ones like this.

Overall, I would rate the film as '5/10' as the only memorable scene was that 'surgery'.

Now, it all comes back to the controversial question:

Would you date someone way much younger than you, irrespective of gender or sexual preferences?

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