Drive Away Dolls – REVIEW

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Drive Away Dolls trailer - Ethan Coen goes it alone without Joel

With the Coen Brothers having allegedly split up to pursue their own projects we’ve seen Joel helm a version of Macbeth, whereas Ethan has continued to embrace the quirky offbeat humour of so many of their fan favourite films and his first film as sole director is Drive Away Dolls. That Drive Away Dolls original title was Drive Away Dykes gives you an idea of the subject matter (and also why the studio wanted a title change). It’s return to the kind of noir story line of their debut film Blood Simple but here it is the plotting and ignoring the conventions of noir for zippy editing, psychedelic graphics and lesbian character leads with Margaret Qually as Jamie and Geraldine Viswanathan as Marian.

The pair are very much a mismatched couple. Jamie is promiscuous and open to all experience whereas Marian is the straight laced and principled friend. As an on screen couple they’re terrific with Viswanathan continuing to show that she’s got star power aplenty as seem in last years ‘Cat Person’ and ‘The Beanie Bubble’. Coen, along with his co-writer and real life wife Tricia Cooke sends them both on a road trip to Florida after Jamie’s break up with her now ex-girlfriend and angry cop Sukie ( Beanie Feldstein  looking every bit like her brother Jonah Hill). Using the genre staple of the mix up Jamie & Marian find themselves having hired a car initially unaware of the briefcase and its contents wanted by a pair of mobsters  (yet another trope of the genre)  who the vengeful Sukie is only too glad to assist in their pursuit of her ex.

With Jamie insisting that they stop off at every lesbian bar they soon find the mob men catching up with them and yes, the contents of the suitcase, unlike Pulp Fiction, is revealed and the plot sees Matt Damon in cameo dragged into the chaos

Drive Away Dolls is not without its problems. It’s not as inventive with plot conventions as Blood Simple was but the leads are engaging and running at  only 85 minutes the story whizzes along in quirky exuberant fashion.

related feature : The Beanie Bubble – APPLE TV+ reviewed

related feature : Craig Fairbrass talks ‘Rise of the Footsoldier Vengeance’

Here’s the Drive Away Dolls trailer……

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