We already had so many movies about many different kinds of killers, yet rarely did we see two hired assassins as funny and cute as Violet & Daisy from 2011.
Although they are very close, these two young girls have not been working together for long, having met by chance in a hospital only a few years earlier.
Their collaboration began after the death of Violet’s previous partner, something she did not want to talk about.
However, today they are tighter than ever, committing petty murders for an anonymous organization that seems almost like an employment agency for assassins.
When they return home from their latest assignment, the girls want to rest and celebrate Daisy’s birthday, which is finally turning 18.
As soon as they blow out the candles on the cake, their phone immediately rings, offering another target to be eliminated quickly for a great payout.
Initially reluctant, they accept after seeing an advertisement for Barbie’s latest dress, an elegant blue model with black lace details with which they fall in love at first sight.
However, the dress costs too much for their pockets, so they agree to take out this strange guy who, after stealing a large sum from the organization, has even made a phone call telling them where he is and daring to eliminate him.
So the girls load their guns and mount a bicycle, heading for the semi-empty apartment building where this thief is.
To their surprise, not only was the man waiting for them, but he was unwilling to fight them in any way, placidly accepting his fate.
Thus, they know him better and understand his delicate family situation, but they do not have much time because other are coming to complete the job if they do not murder their new friend.
A clever and strange travesty of Quentin Tarantino
Violet & Daisy is one of those movies that strangely went under the radar in 2011, despite the directing and writing of Geoffrey Fletcher, winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Non-Original Screenplay with Precious.
Besides his cinematic work, Fletcher also taught film writing at Columbia and New York University and wrote several books, always with a strong focus on social issues of diversity and inclusion.
In this case, he perfectly balances biting black humor with moments of pathos and introspection of the two strange protagonists, keeping a good dose of unpredictability in each scene.
What is most striking is the underlying violence of the story in contrast to the delicate and innocent appearance of these young girls.
Likewise, the cinematography uses a series of saturated and bright colors, as in the garish clothes that clash against the dirty decadence of the interiors, as if it were a surreal parallel universe plugged into our actual world.
This visual and emotional short-circuit comes into play from the delirious opening of the movie, where they enter the scene dressed as candid nuns while mercilessly slaughtering enemies.
Although the action scenes are numerous and have a compelling realism and immediacy, the pace is not frenetic but aims to be enveloping and disturbing.
With its nonlinear narrative structure, jumping back and forth in time, this strange mix of action, drama, and black comedy is closely reminiscent of the genre stereotypes of Pulp Fiction.
Although the script does not reach the pulp violence excesses of Quentin Tarantino‘s masterpiece, it is impossible not to see flashes of the two hitmen Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in these young girls.
Therefore, it is impossible not to like the weird characters in this story, all of whom, in their way, are both victims and perpetrators.
We are so cute with guns
Despite having a limited budget, Violet & Daisy features a cast you can’t underestimate.
Let us start with the strongest side of this dynamic duo, namely Alexis Bledel as Violet, an actress still young but whom we had already seen, for example, in Sin City, where she played the movie’s final scene.
Undoubtedly she is the most violent and problematic side of this pair of killers, who, as mentioned, had previously had another partner, Rose.
Rose’s death is never clarified, but she suggests that she may have killed herself.
Despite her brutal behavior, the girl also knows humiliation when some adult gangsters throw her in the garbage, though she will later have her revenge before the ending.
More between lights and shadows is Daisy, played by the fabulous Saoirse Ronan, also a young actress already with an excellent career with movies like Byzantium or The Lovely Bones.
In her case, we see a more real innocence since she genuinely does not want to hurt anyone, even firing blank bullets to avoid killing.
She is the one who establishes a deeper relationship with their target, an outstanding James Gandolfini, acting as the real focus of the entire second half of the story.
Initially, this role was supposed to go to Bruce Willis; however, Gandolfini’s tired and patient face is much better suited to this innocent character, just like the two young protagonists.
There are not many other actors in this story, except we must mention the minor roles of Marianne Jean-Baptiste, practically the adult version of Violet, watching and helping girls on the sly, along with the always funny Mexican mustachioed Danny Trejo, the intermediary between the killers and the organization.