Film Festivals

TIFF 2018: Firecrackers Review

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. If you would like to keep up with our content, click here.

Synopsis: Firecrackers tells the story of Lou and her best friend Chantal as they plan to get out of their isolated, run-down town and move to a city far, far away. When Chantal’s unstable and possessive ex violates her during a night of partying, the girls decide to exact their revenge on him through a night of vandalism and debauchery. The consequences of their actions are devastating, threatening the girls’ chances of ever leaving. The more Lou fights tooth-and-nail to save her friendship and hold onto her dreams, the more she spins out of control as she begins to realize that freedom will come at a high cost. (levelFilm)

Starring: Michaela Kurimsky, Karena Evans, and Callum Thompson

Writer: Jasmin Mozaffari

Director: Jasmin Mozaffari

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 86mins

Trailer: n/a

Coming off her 2013 short, Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers hits nearly every single Canadian coming-of-age film beat (corrupted youth, personal analysis of characters, melodrama, etc). On a first glance it almost feels like a carbon copy to fill up the Discovery program. Although, once you dig deeper into Mozaffari’s extremely personal direction and enthralling scenarios, you might just be able to appreciate how enjoyable of a first feature this is. Firecrackers follows two teenage girls named Lou (Kurimsky) and Chantal (Evans) who’ve been best friends for as long as time can tell and their attempt to escape a town they truly hate. Although, a night of recklessness may ruin their plans of escape.

The most noticeable element to the film is how much personality is bulging out of the screen at all times. Mozaffari creates a visual thrill ride that leaves you feeling vulnerable. Her polarizing use of shaky cam is respectable and effective, due to the fact that it feels like an attempt to engulf the audience deeper into the headspace of these characters. While visual representation of the characters is innovative, the written development isn’t as effective. Our two leads, although sentimental and likable, seem to have very little consequences for their actions during the second half. Although the ideas explored are interesting and create higher levels of emotional sympathy, they are forgotten almost instantly after their execution. It’s a mixed bag but still fairly enjoyable; a fair addition to the Discovery program.

Score: 7/10

Follow me on twitter @ScangaBen and on letterboxd @theccritic.

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