Destroyer by Karyn Kusama: A drive for destruction

Destroyer, Nicole Kidman, what to watch now

Elevator Pitch: 

Greed is the worst sin. A self-destructive cop hunts the gang leader who killed the man she loved.

Why I liked it: 

I had to look up immediately if Destroyer received any nominations for best screenplay, and am surprised that it didn't. I am a fan of sparse plots, and this tragic quest trims all that's unnecessary and still manages to pull off some magic tricks. I love being put on the wrong foot: it's a movie with some disturbing scenes for sure, and some baffled me; like the one where Erin leaves her 16-year daughter, after telling her she loves her alone in a coffee shop at 11 at night after berating her the whole movie for the choices she is making. But what seemed like a mistake, an oversight in the plot made perfect sense in the end. A large rug gets pulled from under you. And you realise you haven't watched a crime investigation, a cop on the hunt drama.  Destroyer is a love story; a burning a hole in your heart kind of love story. It reminded me of Drive, the seedy part of LA as a backdrop, the relentless urge of the protagonist to set things straight all the while cruising on the wrong side of life. The downcast mood. The ending.

The reviews focus on Nicole Kidman's performance; it's that trick when actresses make themselves ugly and get accolades, but for me, her make-up was a huge distraction. I would recommend seeing this movie at home. In the cinema, with Kidman's transformation in tight close-up, it distracted me from this perfect story. Kidman herself is 50, playing a woman her age, but she looks how she looks now in the flashback parts while looking weird, in the rest of the movie: Erin drinks a lot, so I would rather have seen her puffy, she looks more like an extra on Breaking Bad...Well let's not dwell on this too much, but let's say no surprise there's no nomination for Destroyer for the make-up department. Kidman is excellent in her role, but I wished she would have shown her torment using her expression and not with changing her physical appearance.

What I also loved is seeing not one but two Halt and Catch Fire favorites: Scoot McNairy (rocking his father role in True Detective this season) and Toby Huss (Bos forever.)

Destroyer is a downer for sure, but the action sequences, the dialogue between some very wretched people and the exhilarating twists will be stuck with me for some time.

What it is about: 

Erin Bell, a young cop is put with a partner undercover in a gang in the Californian Desert. Seventeen years later, she receives a reminder that the gang leader, Silas, who has destroyed her life, has resurfaced again. Erin goes on the hunt.