By: Oberst von Berauscht –
Krisha has spend the last few years “working on herself”, having been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction for years, and feels she’s now ready to rejoin her extended family. She is invited to join her family for Thanksgiving, and arrives with the best of intentions. Between her distrusting family and her own inability to control herself, a disaster seems to be brewing.
Krisha is a very well-shot film, with the visuals varying from an almost documentary-like approach in early scenes and getting more and more dynamic as the story moves along. As Krisha’s drug and alcohol use become more prevalent, the camera drifts and flows with a less organic feel, which gives a surreal feel to the visuals.
The performances are also uniformly solid, particularly impressive given how many of the performers are non-actors. It takes a special kind of filmmaker to bring out realistic performances from non-actors and so director Trey Edward Shults definitely deserves credit for this, being his first major feature film.
Krisha is depicted sympathetically at first, but as her personal demons begin to eke their way out of the woodwork as the story unfolds, you see the facade that she has built around herself without actually attempting to make any of the big changes she has been claiming. Meanwhile, her family members do no favors as the initial pleasantries are betrayed by distrust and outright scorn. It is easy to see how Krisha’s addictions could be so difficult to control, because her family sure as shit isn’t helping her any. And that’s the problem, this dour film presents us with the experience of a realistic look into a family that is painful to watch. The younger children are bros that are always shouting about sports or competing against each other in bullshit contests. The adults are dealing with their bullshit jobs, or their bullshit relationships they lie to themselves about still finding satisfaction from. This is a family built on lies, and there is simply nothing redeeming about them.
The film’s story goes beyond just being merely unpleasant to look at; by the end when Krisha has now become heavily inebriated, the film becomes more dreamlike and segmented. And then the movie just ends, without any resolution or even so much as an explanation. It’s really maddening, as if the filmmaker didn’t know where to take the story from there. Considering the story was built up from an original short feature, it seems strange that they wouldn’t take the time to give the story an ending.
Krisha is a dark journey into the heartless soul of a family of terrible people, seen through the eyes of a hopeless addict. If that sounds good to you, by all means check it out.
Krisha (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every cigarette smoked
Take a Drink: each time Krisha lies (to others or to herself)
Do a Shot: when Krisha drinks
Do a Shot: every time someone chides Krisha for past failings