Kitchen Sink Dramedy Delivers Timely Message About Gender Preference Tolerance
Sid Gill (Debargo Sanyal) is presently being pressured by his East Indian immigrant parents (Zena Darawalla and Gordon Warnecke) to settle down and start a family. They are even willing to find the bride. Trouble is, they have no idea their son is on the verge of transitioning into a woman.
“My body is a costume I cannot take off,” Sal laments to himself, which explains his feeling that “I must have landed here from Venus.” Nevertheless, he’s trying to summon up the courage to inform not only his folks of his gender change plans, but his boss as well.
Meanwhile, he can’t figure out why a white kid on a skateboard (Jamie Meyers) has been following him around a lot lately. When he finally confronts the teen on the street, he gets a jaw-dropping explanation: “You’re my dad!”
Sure enough, Ralph turns out to be the love child of Sid and his high school sweetheart, Kirsten Lewis. Too bad, Kirsten (Amber Goldfarb) never bothered to tell him about the pregnancy, and still doesn’t want to have anything to do with him when he knocks on her door to find out why. So, that adds a little baby-mama drama to the mix.
Oh, and Ralph’s arrival threatens to wreck Sid’s relationship with Daniel (Pierre-Yves Cardinal). Daniel’s gay but deep in the closet, and not ready to further complicate his life with a step-son.
All of the above is unraveled and resolved in delightful fashion in Venus, a kitchen sink dramedy written and directed by Eisha Marjara (Desperately Seeking Helen). Though the cross-cultural, cross-generational adventure touches on a variety of themes, what makes it all worthwhile is its timely and tenderhearted exploration of transgender issues.
An apropos redefinition of the meaning of family for the 21st Century!
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 95 minutes
Production Studio: Compass Productions
Studio: Wolfe Releasing
OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
For movies opening September 14, 2018
The Predator (R for graphic violence, crude sexual references and pervasive profanity) Sixth installment in the sci-fi series revolves around a disgruntled science teacher (Olivia Munn) who joins forces with a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers to save humanity after a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) inadvertently triggers the return to Earth of the universe’s most lethal hunters. With Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian A. Prince and Sterling K. Brown.
A Simple Favor (R for violence, drug use, graphic nude images, and pervasive profanity and sexuality) Cat-and-mouse crime thriller about a small-town blogger (Anna Kendrick) who teams with her BFF’s (Blake Lively) husband (Henry Golding) to solve his wife’s mysterious disappearance. Cast includes Eric Johnson, Jean Smart and Sarah Baker.
Unbroken: Path to Redemption (PG-13 for mature themes and disturbing images) Biopic based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best seller chronicling World War II POW Louis Zamperini’s (Samuel Hunt) overcoming his despair with the help of his wife (Merritt Patterson). Featuring Vanessa Bell Calloway, Bobby Campo and Gary Cole.
White Boy Rick (R for drugs, violence, sexuality, pervasive profanity and brief nudity) Richie Merritt plays the title character in this biopic, set in Detroit in the Eighties, recounting the rise and fall of FBI informant-turned-drug kingpin Richard Wershe, Jr. With Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eddie Marsan and Piper Laurie.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
American Chaos (R for profanity and sexual references) Red State documentary shedding light on what inspired Trump’s supporters to vote for him in the 2016 presidential election.
American Deep State (Unrated) Eye-opening exposé revealing the hidden network of government bureaucrats secretly controlling U.S. policy. Featuring commentary by Bill Clinton, James Comey and Jeb Bush.
Bel Canto (Unrated) Suspense thriller about a world-renown opera singer (Julianne Moore) kidnapped by South American guerrillas as she was about to perform at a Japanese tycoon’s (Ken Watanabe) birthday party. With Christopher Lambert, Sebastian Koch and Olek Krupa. (In English, Spanish, French and Japanese.)
The Children Act (R for a sexual reference) Courtroom drama revolving around a judge’s (Emma Thompson) struggle with whether to force a teenager with leukemia (Fionn Whitehead) to undergo a life-saving blood transfusion forbidden by his religion. With Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin and Eileen Walsh.
Lizzie (R for violence, grisly images, nudity, sexuality and profanity) Chloe Sevigny portrays Lizzie Borden in this crime thriller about the infamous young woman accused of murdering her father (Jamey Sheridan) and stepmother (Fiona Shaw) in Fall River, Mass. in 1892. With Kristen Stewart, Kim Dickens and Jeff Perry.
Science Fair (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) STEM documentary chronicling the impressive efforts of nine high school students competing in the international science fair.