Following a prolonged battle with addiction and self-destruction, Krisha (Krisha Fairchild), the black sheep of the family she abandoned, returns for a holiday celebration. But what begins as a moving testament to the family's capacity to forgive soon spirals into a deluge of emotional bloodletting, as old wounds are torn open, and resentments are laid bare.
Tour-de-force? Certainly. Weird? Check. Unique? Yup again. Krisha is relentless, brutal, honest and raw as in raw meat from an undercooked Thanksgiving turkey which sauce splatters all over the floor and wreaks havoc among the dinner table participants who, unbeknownst to everything – still hold Krisha as a normal human being in their ultimate test regarding valorization of human character. Krisha by Trey Edward Shults is Birdman times ten, employing shots and camera angles highly reminiscent of Iñárritu’s masterpiece – but also unique in their own, peculiar kind of way. Bottom line: Krisha is not to be missed.
Trey Edward Shults wrote and directed this particular piece of celluloid tape (it’s shot digitally, pardon me) as his talent proves translucent (in a good way) when Krisha undergoes a microscopic check: a fancy way of overstating the director’s immense talents. His unique (and I’m saying this a lot) approach to filmmaking, with a bare-bones budget and no stars whatsoever comes to fruition as he helms his love-child according and following his vision from beginning to end. To top even that: Krisha is filmed in measly nine days total.
Talk about efficiency.
Since the sole beginning, audiences witness a long take (my personal favorites) that extends across a woman’s face. During which, an ominous and eerie music overflows one’s auditory sensors and provides a perfect distraction as to where our movie will head next.
Krisha is the epitome of ambiguity, of the good caliber at that. Take it like this: If Swiss Army Man rates ‘goofy and fun, but surreal and slapstick’, and Birdman falls somewhere between ‘artistic and meticulously crafted, also dark and subliminally uplifting’, then Krisha would sum up to ‘tenaciously deep and ambiguously clunky, at the same time eerily weird and close to a masterpiece, if not already one’. Thanks and I hope that cleared some upfront misunderstandings about the film in mind.
The plot follows Krisha, who is played by Krisha Fairchild – a very meta decision on the director’s part. After a ten years absence, she rejoins her family in a Thanksgiving dinner, but an odd presence seems to loom over her head like those pesky clouds that Wile E. Coyote just couldn’t get rid of (during sunny days). But instead of slapstick, Krisha leans in the opposite direction.
Also, who knew that amateurs can act better than professional actors who sway millions to go and see their botched films over and over again? Krisha Fairchild is Trey Edward Shults’s aunt, while her on-screen sister Robyn is played by the director’s own mum. Thus, a financial equilibrium has been achieved – helped by the fact that the film takes place in Robyn’s own home near Houston, Texas.
All taken into consideration, and we can proudly proclaim Krisha as the avant-garde anti-postmodern take on society and (disjointed) family ties that acts as a barrel full of gunpowder ready to blow at a whim.
A pure gem, and a cult classic for generations to come.