Gregg Araki’s definitely one of today’s most prominent Independent film maker and a director of New Queer Cinema. One of the first Araki film i saw was Mysterious Skin and it was an absolute 180 from this one :D
Kaboom is a throwback to earlier Araki stoner-style, filled with skewed images that would exists when you’re on acid to represent the skewed reality of the film itself.
The film open with Smith (Thomas Dekker) having an odd dream that involved a red head and raven head beauty, a door with number 19 on it, that leads to a … red dumpster. As if his life is not complicated enough, the pansexual guy, who already have a crush with his dumb-blonde-surfer roommate Thor (Chris Zylka), having issue with his mother (Kelly Lynch), weird relationship with a girl she just met London (Juno Temple), helping his best lesbian friend Stella (Haley Bennett) ditch her lunatic lover who turned out to be the raven-haired girl he saw in his dream who turned out to be a witch, getting a strange letter delivered by his stoner friend Messiah (James Duval), getting chased by men in animal masks, etc, etc. Imagine having that while you’re trying to get a date with a guy he actually like (Brennan Mejia) and realising that your dad was involved in a cult.
The absurdity of the twist revealed later in the film actually reminds me of Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in The Woods. It plays with convention like Smith exploration of his own sexuality. Packed in a slick clean visual, delivering a glossy, super-stylized picture saturated coloring. But what started out as a college stoner comedy with hyper sexual leads quickly evolved into thrilling sci-fi fueled by conspiracy theories. Thomas Dekker as a lead was alright, but the movie true gem lay in its supporting roles which is filled by a tapestry of odd character. My personal favorite was of course Juno Temple with her prowess in delivering witty comedic one-liner, which stood out for me since i saw her with Emma Roberts in Wild Child. The bizarre apocalyptic end left the movie with a finite what-the-fuckery, i wonder whether it’s an intended act to screw with the viewers or Araki just ran out of idea as how to tied the loose ends of the film.
Kaboom is a sacrilegious fun movie, that mocks and criticize in its own demented way. It’s bizarreness is baffling and it’s absurdity is outrageous, yet it become the charm of the movie itself. Even so, i’d definitely prefer Araki’s more controlled work, like Mysterious Skin, instead. So here’s hoping his upcoming feature, White Bird in a Blizzard would be a comeback to his more sophisticated level of artistry.
The movie premiered at 2010 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the first ever Queer Palm. Queer Palm is an independently sponsored award that recognizes film that contributes to LGBT-relevant issues and themes for movies that are nominated or entered under Official Selection, Un Certain Regard, International Critics’ Week, or Director Fortnight in Cannes.
GENRE Comedy, Mystery, Sci-Fi
DIRECTOR Gregg Araki | PRODUCER Gregg Araki, Andrea Sperling, Pascal Caucheteux | WRITER Gregg Araki | MUSIC Mark Peters, Robin Guthrie, Ulrich Schnauss | CINEMATOGRAPHER Sandra Valde-Hansen | EDITOR Gregg Araki | STUDIO Wild Bunch, Desperate Pictures | DISTRIBUTOR Sundance Selects | COUNTRY United States, French | RELEASE May 15th, 2010 (Cannes), October 6th, 2010 (French)
STARRING Thomas Dekker, Juno Temple, Haley Benett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, James Duval, Brennan Meija, Andy Fischer-Price
All pictures are taken from IMDb.