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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DVD Review: Plush

Plush is the story of a young woman named Hayley who achieved immediate fame as a musical artist, and is trying to continue her success after Jack, her brother and musical partner, overdoses. She chooses Enzo as her new guitarist because he knows all her songs and looks like her brother. Also she gets married to Carter and has twins, at the age of nineteen. Unfortunately, all of this is told to us in voice over just after the opening credit sequence. Seriously. She says stuff like “It was always me and my brother…Music was like our secret place, and Jack and I were two halves of the key.” And: “Nothing could hurt us, because Jack and I had each other. And then I met Carter. He’s a journalist, not a musician.”

About her brother’s death: “I don’t know if it was the hand of fate, or if I’d abandoned him. The guilt pulled me away from my husband and my kids. It took months before I even started to write again.” Eventually we see she’s being interviewed. But basically all the character development is done as narration, which is to say it’s not done at all.

Before this, by the way, we get an interesting scene of a woman tied to a chair, suddenly having a load of small rocks dumped on her. Her body is then uncovered, her arm turned over, revealing on her wrist the word “Plush.” And that leads into the opening credit sequence.

So, anyway, Hayley records an album of music dedicated to her brother, and tours the new songs. We see concert footage, and for some reason there are people dressed in giant animal costumes in the audience. Those poor extras must have been very hot that day. However, the audience doesn’t like her new material about her brother, though they hold up signs that say “RIP Jack.”

Some weird fan accosts her in the hall after a show, and tries to make her put on black lipstick and kiss a photo. She tells him black isn’t her color, and the intense music tells us this scene is supposed to be intense. The new guitarist rescues her, which is good because I was getting nervous that she might be forced to put on black lipstick. Anyway, he later gives her a massage, which leads to sex.

Infidelity isn’t really a concern of hers. Her biggest problem is that bloggers don’t like her new album. They say it’s too sentimental. So she tries to write something with an edge to appease everyone online. The big question for us as an audience is, Who gives a shit? Everything was so rushed at the beginning that she seemed to achieve stardom in almost no time and with no effort. So you end up just kind of hating these people. And that’s before she cheats on husband. Plus, we saw nothing of her developing the relationship with Carter. She’s just suddenly married to him, again effortlessly, so why would we care if she screws up this relationship by cheating?

Later Enzo comes on to her in the daytime, and though they’ve already had sex, this time she tells him no because she’s married and because he’s into guys. He says, “Whoever said I was gay? And what is ‘gay’ anyway?” Oh dear. We then get footage of them trying to write a new song and fooling around. By this point you just want to punch them both in the face. But it’s time for them to make a music video together. (First he shows her another video he made of his sister, where – yes – she is tied to a chair and covered over by small rocks.) There is some interesting imagery in the music video they make, and that is the basically the only positive thing I can say about this film. These are horrible people. And the movie just gets more and more ridiculous. All of the surprise revelations at the end are laughable.

Hayley at one point asks the question all parents must face sooner or later: “Are my kids wearing leashes?

Special Features

The DVD contains two music videos, “Half Of Me Remix” and “Enzo Unleashed,” as well as two teaser trailers.

Plush was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and stars Emily Browning, Xavier Samuel and Cam Gigandet. It was released on DVD on October 15, 2013.

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