13 June 2024

Film Review – Choir Girl (2019)

Not pretty; but sadly probably all too real story of human trafficking by an uncaring criminal underbelly whilst the story follows brutal cause and effect, when a reclusive photographer becomes obsessed with helping the underage subject of his latest snaps.

Filmed in glorious black and white, this independent drama filmed around Melbourne, Australia; is a testament to ones viewing threshold if you make it to the end, as I did.

Not that this is completely unwatchable, however, grimy circumstances and exploitation elements are attempted to be played out seriously by a committed cast.

Lonely, awkward Eugene (Peter Flaherty) looks after his aging father (Roger Ward) also takes incredibly arty pictures of street life.

A hotshot magazine he often tries to sell them to brush him out the door on a regular basis by simply saying they’re voyeuristic.

Randomly, he shoots prostitute Josephine (Sarah Timm) changing his life immediately.

An illegal, foreign sex worker, Josephine is hesitantly swept off her feet by unstable Eugene, promised a better life away from her ruthless pimp Daddy (Jack Campbell).

Meanwhile, an exhibition of Eugene’s work presenting sudden muse Josephine, is being organised by helpful editorial affiliate Polly (Krista Vendy) although as nice as she seems, a hidden agenda may be prevalent.

There are certainly good intentions by first time feature director John Fraser, reflecting on the story of escaping from an uncontrollable passage of darkness and unlikely saviour, but sympathy or actual investment towards most characters becomes a tall order.

Performances are variable, international model and acclaimed actor Krista Vendy fares best, a rare, bright presence in a kind of, dual personality role.

Sarah Timm, a highlight in 2020 film, In Corpore, constantly solid as the confused, beat-up Josephine.
Everyone else is at least trying their best in this uncomfortable film, it is difficult to attain feelings of empathy as intended.

★1/2


Drama | Australia, 2019 | Prime Video, Tubi | Dir.John Fraser |Peter Flaherty, Krista Vendy, Jack Campbell

Follow Shane A.Bassett @MovieAnalyst


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