Hick is a drama adapted from a book of the same name written by Andrea Portes. It premiered in the Toronto Film Festival in 2011 to mixed reviews from critics and moviegoers alike but despite the fact that its a bit on the dark side, I kind of liked it.
Having had enough of her parents’ dysfunctional relationship and constant drinking, 13 year old Luli (Chloe Mortez) decides to leave her small town roots behind to find her fortune in the bright lights of Las Vegas. But despite her street smarts and determination, Luli finds that life on the road for a lone young woman is not easy. As she comes across a violent drifter Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), a beautiful con woman Glenda (Blake Lively) and other characters in her journey, she is initiated into the harsh realities of the world as she finds herself entangled in their twisted relationships.
Despite the bad reviews, I thought Hick was a good movie mainly because of the strong cast that gave life to the characters. Chloe Moretz was very credible playing the tough and disillusioned thirteen year old, whose innocence was shattered by her experiences with her family, her hopefulness for a better life away from her small town, away from her uncaring parents and her resilience despite getting in trouble more than once. Eddie Redmayne was also very convincing as the equal parts dangerous and vulnerable drifter dealing with issues of his own. Blake Lively also pulled her own weight as a desperate woman left with no choice but to sell herself to a wealthy businessman to survive.
I think what sold the movie was the fact that it was grounded on reality and that it could happen to anyone — in any part of the world. Considering all things, the movie was actually sanitized compared to the book (based on what I researched). The story also had a certain grittiness to it that affects the senses of the audience that makes them think about how they would fare in situations similar to the characters.
The movie did not need lengthy dialogue to drive the point home. Just the fact that Luli was a 13 year old girl exposed to characters like Glenda and Eddie was enough to worry about her and pray for her safety. All in all, I thought Hick was a well executed drama that was a perfect reflection of innocence and guile, of goodness and evil and everything in between. It is a film that speaks volumes about reality and the harsh truths that go with it.