Ali Naro 2 July, 2016 Comments Off on ToY

Starring – Briana Evigan, Kerry Norton, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Bre Blair, Matt O’Leary
Directed by – Patrick Chapman

ToY is a film that is not for the faint of heart. And I don’t mean faint of heart as in there is blood and guts and violence galore, although there is a very disturbing scene of violence. What I mean is this movie is not for the emotional faint of heart. It is a movie that will stay with you long after you have finished watching it. 

The film is about two women. Yep, a movie where men only play supporting roles. See it can be done and done quite well. Chloe (Briana Evigan) is an artist working on a photography/film project about prostitutes when she meets Kat (Kerry Norton) who dares to be a middle age prostitute and is having a hard time making ends meet because of her “advanced” age since apparently men stop desiring women once they hit maturity. Oh men, why do you ignore women when they are just starting to reach their sexual, emotional and intellectual peaks? But Chloe isn’t a blind and ageist man, she is instead intrigued and fascinated by Kat and decides to hire her full-time and has Kat move in with her as well. Both women come from opposite worlds, Chloe from a rich, privileged life; while Kat has survived by selling herself for years, but both women are struggling on equal terms and so a bond forms between them and soon a romantic relationship develops.

Each tries to discover more about the other, but both women are so emotionally damaged that they can only reveal small bits and pieces of themselves, but ever so slowly their mysterious lives begin to be revealed to each other and the audience, and it becomes abundantly clear that the film will not be ending with a “…and they lived happily ever after…” 

The actresses who play Chloe and Kat give stellar performances and have a magnetic chemistry that sets the screen on fire. Nothing is sugar coated here. Kat is far removed from the Julia Roberts version of a prostitute where her biggest issue was being bullied by mean sales ladies in fancy stores. This is a cold, ruthless, harsh life and Chloe is no Richard Gere who will make all the bad in Kat’s life go away. Chloe’s mental and physical ailments also live in a very real reality and witnessing her slowly disappear into the pain and anguish is almost unbearable to watch.

ToY seems to hit all the elements that actresses have been vocalizing lately about what has been sorely lacking in female roles – smart, strong, independent women who aren’t just on the screen to help move the male lead’s story forward. Chloe and Kat’s relationship is also treated equally. It could have easily been substituted with a straight relationship because their sexuality isn’t the main topic of the plot. A new trend that is slowly being realized in film and TV as society’s views on homosexuality evolves.

 Visually stimulating, ToY looks very much like Chloe’s finished artwork, an avant garde film that for once I really enjoyed and with a powerful ending that will leave you breathless.

ToY is currently available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other video-on-demand services.