Father Robert, Mother Theresa and daughter Old Dolio together form the crook family Dyne. By picking up parcels of mail and hustling with coupons, they try to survive every day in the tough consumer society of Los Angeles. During a luggage scam, they meet Melanie, a cheerful cheeky little guy who joins the trickster trio. She proposes to trick lonely elderly people and behold: a listening ear in exchange for a thick checkbook turns out to be a darn lucrative business.
Thus an absurdist satire about a dysfunctional family unfolds that slowly but surely begins to see what (fellow) humanity is. Central to this metamorphosis is Old Dolio, strongly played by Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, Westworld). This gruff street rat with greasy hair and tracksuit grew up without love all her life. It’s only when newcomer Melanie approaches that Old Dolio realizes what friendship and affection are.
As a versatile and multimedia artist, July packs this transition into a mix of surreal situations, peculiar humor and an alienating stylization. For example, the Dynes live in a chilly office storage next to a foam factory, causing pink bubbles to trickle down the walls once a day. And from their deceitful old people they buy a bubble bath, the status symbol of the materialistic society that used to belittle them.
Kajillionaire is therefore a tragicomedy that is certainly not for everyone. Some describe July’s work as idiosyncratic and witty, others find it far-fetched interesting film making. Judge for yourself.
✭✭✭ (3 out of 5)