Director: Cory Finley
Living the affluent life of two upper class teenage girls is not quite all what they would hope it to be. Amanda (Olivia Cooke) is awaiting a punishment for what she believed to be an act of kinds towards a horse and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) is having to deal with an over bearing stepfather (Paul Sparks) despite enjoying all the privileges that come with his wealth. After a period of estrangement the two teenagers rebuild their friendship and explore ways of how they can improve their situations leading to some dark and fatal consequences.
Having only seen Cooke once and very recently in Ready Player One (Review here) I’m still taking my first impressions. I much preferred her here to her previous film. She gives Amanda an outwardly timid profile whilst harbouring quite dark tendencies with the best of interests. She feels, and it shows, that society rejects her and she has no place in the world despite her obvious intelligence and perception. Anya Taylor-Joy, on the other hand, I’m very familiar with and she just seems to be able to put in consistently good performances and tries to raise the bar for herself with each appearance. She seems to, effortlessly, give Amanda that spoilt brat edge whilst still applying a strict sense of pride and dignity to the role. Finally, there’s the late Anton Yelchin as Tim. Tim is the would be drugs kingpin who can’t quite elevate himself from selling drugs to kids and stepping up. He becomes the unfortunate mark for the two girls and this leads to some very comic moments. He’s certainly a talent which was taken too soon.
Despite the two elderly ladies, the only others in the cinema, talking and then, finally, leaving after half an hour – realising the film wasn’t actually about horses, I really enjoyed Thoroughbreds. It was certainly a film that appealed to my sense of humour whilst offering performances of a very much above average standard. It’s a smart film and to be fair I think the writer/director knows this as the film seems to carry a certain arrogance even for a film that in terms of its storyline wasn’t all that original. What it does well is make its own mark on the story taking it in its own directions as it moves on. With two very strong performances from its young leads accompanied by Yelcin’s input, Thoroughbreds is a modern tale of spoilt children getting what they want no matter the cost.
The Verdict: 3.5/5 Stars – A dark little tale that’s not shy with the whip.