‘Parks and Recreation‘ supported its success in a successful evolution of characters that absorbed personal characteristics of the actors who gave them life. Always with a certain distance that fiction provides, of course, but they already played notes that more or less have remained in later projects. It was difficult to know at the time, yes, which ones were going to have the most interesting races.
Not many bet that Chris Pratt he was going to be the one to become the franchise star he has become, or that Aziz Ansari was to become a sensitive cult author with projects like ‘Master of None‘. Perhaps even fewer predicted that the youngest of all was to have the most interesting leading career and with more game. But Aubrey Plaza He has confirmed it with his latest film.
High risk, high reward
‘Emily the hustler‘, recently released on digital platforms such as AppleTV, Rakuten either Filmin Premium for rental consumption, it does not offer the kind of character that we usually see Plaza play, who is usually biting, twisted, iconoclastic and bordering on psychopathy from comedy. Those values remain, but this time framed in a harrowing crime thriller that launches bites into the labor market.
The Emily that gives title to the function suffers the consequences of a very expensive university educational system that burdens those who pass through it with enormous debts. A small youthful incident becomes a stain on his file that makes it difficult for him to access stable jobs, so he has to settle for precarious jobs with which he can pay off his debt, which prevents you from really fulfilling your dream.
One day he gets the opportunity to earn larger sums of money, although not with activities that can be described as legal. It is introduced in a criminal underworld where scams are carried out with credit cards, and what seems like an initial flirtation to get a few hundred dollars in a short time becomes a career path to explore.
Plaza plays a young woman with clear artistic ambitions, or at least wanting to enter the world. However, the film shows us how the labor market barely opens the door to her, denying her opportunities or offering her some that are mere exploitation. A way in which the director and screenwriter John Patton Ford justifies us the dark path the character takes.
Ford benefits greatly from having someone like Plaza bring this con artist to life. Not only because of an interpretive talent that is evident, but also because of his ability to make funny characters that work as free verses in his performances, doing critical and sharp looks at the ecosystems in which they are introduced, works to give the protagonist her own charisma. She also manages to make those characters playful, not unlikable, and here she manages to subvert that to make a forceful and dramatic antiheroine.
‘Emily the Criminal’: steady and electric pulse
Ford uses the tools of a nervous and electric thriller to maintain a steady hand for much of its 95-minute run. He uses a lot of hand-held cameras that accentuate that state of anguish, which is quite close to that model that the safdie brothers of movies whose genre is anxiety attack. It also finds a path of intrigue through the sentimental, with a complex and unusual relationship between the character of Plaza and that of Theo Rossi.
There are clear drawbacks that prevent it from being a totally overwhelming film, such as that feeling that when you press the accelerator the hardest you start to lift your foot off the pedal. Little bittersweet notes that, on the other hand, do not prevent the film from working and offering the entertainment you expect from it. Above all, ‘Emily the swindler’ confirms Plaza as one of the most formidable interpreters of the moment, and that they should give him papers of all kinds. At least, give to follow her in everything she does.