IT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS OF DEADLY CUTS!
It’s so good when you find a comedy that lifts your spirits and comes out as fresh in this saturated cinema scenario, and Deadly Cuts surely embodies the entertainment, while sending important messages to a whole community that is currently in need of some refreshment. Meet Dublin’s most fierce ladies that don’t waste any time proving they are skilled hairdressers and… untalented murderers? Deadly Cuts is a small business shop set in Piglinstown in the nearabouts of Dublin that is being tormented by gangsters and gentrifiers and after one (deadly) incident, Stacey (one of the stylists) is still determined to enroll in the prestigious Ahh Hair competition, where her boss Michelle has to confront her old nemesis Pippa and her lifelong idol and mentor D’Long Doyle.
Deadly Cuts is a black comedy written and directed by Rachel Carey, who carefully sets up a campy narrative with colorful (and memorable for that matter) characters and top notch humor, even if some editing problems and underlooked character development prevent it from leaping into the status of an instant classic. Nonetheless, Deadly Cuts captures that delicious Irish humor and concocts a narrative that tackles toxic masculinity and gentrification in a way that feels funny and makes its own exaggerations seem natural and appealing. By avoiding falling into the same boring formula where the woman is always the “damsel in distress”, Deadly Cuts elevates itself by making them both the heroes and unexpected villains of their own stories. Led by talented performers, the film takes advantage of the violence that is typical of Piglinstown and twists it into an outstanding parable of female empowerment while also underlying the urgent need of supporting local businesses that are the first ones to suffer with the gentrification of neighborhoods.
But the most important thing in Deadly Cuts is the way Carey enhances the characters, even if sometimes she could add more layers to them (specially to the supporting girls of the salon), absorbing the stereotypes and giving them a fresh and undeniably funny twist. If Carey didn’t garnish them with particularities that would stick to the audience, Deadly Cuts would fall into common territory of the so many Hollywoodesque comedies. As the characters flourish in their different comedic settings, Carey manages to make them appealing by nuancing them with different characteristics that come up as effective in providing big laughs. These ladies are the community saviors, and won’t let anyone back down from achieving their main goals. This is what makes Deadly Cuts so special… besides a fantastic representation of the hairdressing community with the flamboyant and snobbish portrayal of D’Long Doyle.
With a cast led by Angeline Ball and with small appearances by Victoria Smurfit and Aidan McArdle, Deadly Cuts is the comedy we all need right now that, despite its flaws, manages to satirically (and hilariously so) tackle many different social issues and provide a fresh take on the womance that has been heavily standardized by Hollywood productions, allowing the comedy to flow in a natural way and provide us with the amount of harmless entertainment to leave us with a smile on our face. If you are one of the Seattle International Film Festival‘s attendees, you will not want to miss the opportunity of watching this adorable and laughing out loud comedy.
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Title: Deadly Cuts
Original Title: Deadly Cuts
Director: Rachel Carey
Runtime: 86 min.
Trailer | Deadly Cuts