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A Vigilante: You Can’t Fake It

Audiences may love films with fantasy, imagination, and dramatisation, but when a movie is brave enough to aim for being honest, it’s just something you can’t fake. Luckily, with an honesty that is both refreshing and heartbreaking, A Vigilante didn’t need to fake anything.

A Vigilante follows previously abused woman Sadie (Olivia Wilde) as she sets out to save domestic abuse victims and rid them completely of their abusers. But Sadie has not let go of her past, and it has not let go of her. Can she finally get her closure? Or will her past come back to conquer her this time?

The plot seems quite average as it’s one that has been done in several movies over the years. However, there are several reasons why A Vigilante is different.

Firstly, how the plot is focused around Sadie but also delves into the stories of the women and children she saves, as well as the women in a support group she attended. That allows audiences to be exposed to a variety of stories in a manner that seems completely natural, kind of like a conversation. The feature also does not use overdramatic flashbacks to tell Sadie’s story, but rather has her explain it to the support group, which is much more genuine and realistic.

Secondly, that not all the abusers are men; Sadie saves two children from an extremely abusive mother, which goes to show that this film is not saying “all men are horrible”, but rather that all abuse, wherever it comes from, is horrible.

Thirdly, the film is not stuffed with crowd-pleasing action or over-the-top pathos but is a thriller that relies on the suspense of the wait as well as the genuineness of the situation. The feature also pays a lot of attention to details which are both brilliant and gut-wrenching.

Lastly and most importantly, how the main female character was portrayed; she is not some crazy women getting revenge on every man because of what her husband did to her, or an action figure that is being fitted to the mould of the superhero. Instead, she is a human being with honest feelings, several breakdowns, relatable weaknesses, and more, which not only makes audiences sympathise with the character a whole lot more but actually shakes audiences sober when it comes to the issue of domestic abuse.

For the acting, Olivia Wilde was unbelievable with what could be her strongest performance ever. Wilde was utterly entranced in the role with emotions from vulnerability, rage, and grief all coming off completely honest and heartbreakingly realistic. Wilde poured out her soul in her performance with brilliant facial expressions and body language, even in the toughest of scenes where the feature hid none of her emotions.

A Vigilante is a very good film that so many people should watch for its craftsmanship as well as its message; however, it may be a difficult watch for victims of abuse, and will definitely affect you, even if you are not.

Like This? Try

The Accused (1988), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Enough (2002), Private Violence (2014).

360 Tip

At the end of the movie, Sadie pulls out of the Ulster Federal Credit Union in Kingston, NY. You can see the Dutch Village Apartments as she drives away.

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