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TIFF 2021: “Violet”


© Violet Film, LLC

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There is always a voice in our head that casts doubt on our actions, stops us from growing or making an important step, studying, working or just going out for a walk. Everything we would want to do, that voice would say – you are a failure. You will fail. Just take the heat of fate, give up, and let others beat you up. Do a worse job because you’re worth it. The question is, how to fight our insecurity and fear towards becoming free and confident?

“Violet” is the type of film that should have been done a long time ago and be mandatory for anyone who doubts themselves. Violet (Olivia Munn) is a successful film executive; everything she touches turns into gold. She worked hard to earn the status of a giant in an industry that is owned by older white men. They think women are useless and get hired only after ending up in those men’s beds. Anyone who asks Violet for something, she grants their wishes. It’s because her inner voice, the main antagonist, tells her to take all the abuse, that she is inadequate, awful at her job and not worthwhile of anything. She just must sit and takes anything that comes to her and be grateful for that. Because nothing better than this she will ever get.

From writer/director Justine Bateman, “Violet” is a highly original piece you should not miss. In fact, it’s so refreshing to see such a film that literally resonates with every single viewer. It’s powerful, smart and the lines are so biting, you will feel the pain. Olivia Munn as the conflicted and doubtful Violet is subtle, nuanced and strong. Her portrayal of Violet is a signature performance; the actor must be proud of herself for pulling off such a complex character on display. The film is not just about workplace abuse, harassment and humiliation but it’s about finding a voice too; the voice that will be louder than the one she hears inside her head. The one that will scream and shout at her, saying, “Enough. Be strong. Be confident. And take no more beating. Because you deserve better.”

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