Critique de Nikayaya
Thumper gives us a dramatic look into the heroine epidemic, and insight into the sheer desperation behind it.
A group of wayward teens are drawn into the drug world by dealer Wyatt Rivers (Pablo Schreiber), who carries his own emotional justification. Beaver (Daniel Webber), following his friend Troy (Grant Harvey), looks for a means to an end by selling drugs for the local heroin maker Wyatt. Entranced by new student Kat Carter (Eliza Taylor), Beaver navigates a life driven by need and uprooted by want.
Kat quickly infiltrates the group of drug-affected teens, using her charm and wit in order to accomplish her goal. Driven by ulterior motives and a single minded supervisor (Lena Headey), she follows the ladder up to Wyatt, using a lovelorn Beaver as her base. Lost somewhere between her undercover self and actual self, Kat juggles the ramifications of her own choices.
Daniel Webber brings a humanity to Beaver that makes it hard not to hope for a better outcome. Hopes of escaping an abusive father, a desperation to protect his younger brother, and lack of a path to accomplish either goal, it’s hard to imagine a different choice. The antithesis to Wyatt, Beaver climbs upwards against the tide in a river dead set on drowning him.
Thumper is raw and gritty in the way a movie that centers on a real life issue should be, but it stops short of making us uncomfortable. The scenes where the characters smoke, or inject the heroin, hold little more drama than marijuana scenes, despite the severity of the more potent drugs affect. Addiction, the true core of the drug epidemic, seems to have been left mostly by the wayside in the film, save for a small scene. The characters, even Beaver, never seem to mimic the true desperation the drugs hold, drawing the film slightly behind previous ones of its kind.
Thumper teeter-totters on whether its focus is the cause or effect of drugs. As it delves into the characters different reasoning for their choices, from Beaver’s emotional pull at home, to Kat’s dissolving home life, it seems to build a story based on empathy for the teens. But then, after its most dramatic scene, we are left with solely the ramifications on Kat’s life, which seems to create the question of whether the characters in Thumper are victims without choice, or creators of their own demise.
Director: Jordan Ross
Producers: Fernando Loureiro, Roberto Vasconcellos
Cast: Pablo Schreiber (Netflix's Orange is the New Black), Eliza Taylor (The CW's The 100), Lena Headey (HBO's Game of Thrones), Daniel Webber (Netflix's The Punisher), Grant Harvey (ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager), and Ben Feldman (NBC's Superstore)
Screened at the San Diego International Film Festival, October 6 2017, ArcLight Cinemas
- Note de Nikayaya: 3.5