Coming to Bluray from writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn and Broad Green Pictures is a film that is jaw dropping when it comes to dealing with THE NEON DEMON.
Jesse (Elle Fanning) is a young girl looking to become famous in the modeling world. Living in a beat down hotel room run by creepy Hank (Keanu Reeves), she meets Dean (Karl Glusman) who also aspires to be a famous photographer. Taking pictures for a portfolio the two become friends.
Taking her photos to a Roberta Hoffmann (Christina Hendricks) she is sent on her first job with the famous Jack (Desmond Harrington). There she meets makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone) who is thrilled to make a new beautiful friend and keeps her eye out for young Jesse. Ruby also introduces Jesse to her friends Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee).
Almost over night Jesse becomes a successful model and loves the attention it brings. Now that the industry recognizes her beauty and gives her fame, jealousy begins within the new group of friends.
A misunderstanding between Ruby and Jesse bring about the ultimate confrontation between love and beauty.
Fanning as Jesse is perfection for this role. She is wide-eyed innocent yet stunningly beautiful which is the draw for the industry casting agents, photographers and designers. Attempting to find the way on her own, it is inevitable that she would deal with people like Hank, Jack and even Ruby. Her character is flowingly sweet one moment, hard and intense in couture the next. Fanning made it look crazy easy!
Malone as makeup artist Ruby takes to Jesse right away and feels the need to protect her. When Jesse has problems with her living situation, it is Ruby that comes to the rescue. Malone is sweetly presented and as a makeup artist has the ability to create the masks the industry wants from their models.
Heathcote as Gigi and Lee as Sarah are two girls struggling to get to the status that Jesse seems to get with ease. Feeling as if they had worked harder to achieve success, jealousy begins to rear its ugly designer wearing heads. These two young ladies are cold and cool.
Reeves as Hank is mean spirited and a little disturbing but then again that’s what I’d expect from a guy who had a seedy hotel. It’s just when Reeves plays this kind of role it’s a tad unnerving! Glusman as Dean falls for Jesse but has a surprise coming that might change his feelings.
Other cast include: Jamie Clayton and Stacey Danger as Casting Assistants, Rebecca Dayan as Dresser, Taylor Hill as the Flirty Model and Charles Baker as Mikey.
Broad Green Pictures began in 2014 with founders Gabriel and Daniel Hammond. Dedicated to providing filmmakers infrastructure and marketing, it gives script to screen the support. That is necessary to bring incredible stories to the largest audience. For more of what they have slated for the future and available now please visit www.broadgreen.com.
THE NEON DEMON is definitely a film for the audience that looks for the unusual. This has the feel of David Lynch’s iconic BLUE VELVET and that film also took some time to be accepted. Of course there are parts of this film that could be considered shocking or even bizarre.
The problem with that is I have that same feeling about most wasteful and gruesome horror films that are put in theatres. Those films don’t even come close to the unpredictable story line that Refn provides with this piece. I had been given a ‘warning’ about THE NEON DEMON previously (but anyone who knows me is laughing at that) yet I was all in from the beginning.
You can not put a cast like this together and not expect something unique to happen. That’s what THE NEON DEMON is as far as I’m concerned. If anything it is a smack in the face about the definition of beauty and what people will do to get it, keep it and become famous for it. The ending is the topping on the cake and I actually have a quote that I’d give you about it but see it first and ask me for it later – trust me!
In the end – beauty is vicious!