Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017)
After their mother ends up in jail, two sisters turn to train robbery in order to support their family.
Sometimes life hands you your arse on a plate and says “Eat up, chump” and you’re forced to just get on with it – knife, fork and all. Other times there’s a perfect solution to your arse problem just staring you in the face and that problem might lead you outside the law but no other fucker’s going to help, are they?
This is what happens to our titular characters when their mother loses her shit at work and ends up in clink (I hear you, gurl). Driven to breaking point by something that isn’t clear yet, mum Marigold (Danielle Nicolat) is actually quite happy behind bars, thrilled that every meal comes with salad on the side and that she can enjoy yoga classes on the regs.
Her daughters, Deidra (Ashleigh Murray) and Laney (Rachel Crow) however, aren’t having such a pleasant ride. Money is tight, they’ve a young brother to bring up and their dad (David Sullivan) is fucking useless. Who knew, eh? They’re also just normal teenage girls navigating a brutal school system with regular worries about popularity, friendship and college applications, as well as having to juggle a social worker and her regular visits. What are the girls to do?
Well, I don’t think it’s too much of a spoiler to reveal that Deirdra decides they should rob the trains that pass the back of their house to make some cash. Laney isn’t immediately convinced but agrees nevertheless. And the girls starting kicking arse as train robbers. Of course they do because if you want a job well done, you do it yourself.
Unfortunately, it’s not long before they attract the attention of a heavy-handed cop (Tim Blake Nelson) and things look set to take a turn. Meanwhile, Laney is competing in her high school beauty pageant and falling out with her jealous BFF, while Deidra is distracted by college demands and keeping the family together.
DALRAT is a sweet film that addresses some serious issues such as police brutality, poverty and crime as a means of survival in a light way. Although, when Laney is apprehended by violent cop Truman at the pageant, it actually turned my stomach so close to the bone it is. Truman is a bastard but also a great character and wonderfully representative of an over-zealous brand of twisted justice – and I truly relished his demise. FUCK DA POLICE, MAN.
The girls are great and adorable but they’re also resourceful, smart and cool – and you’ll just want them to get the fuck out of this nasty situation they don’t deserve and back on their respective paths. Meanwhile, Marigold’s justification for her meltdown is a little corny but it should hit you right in the feels. What? I got some sand in my eye.
Even dad pulls it out of the bag in the end but it’s the girls that save themselves as girls are wont to do and that’s what makes this a feminist piece. There are a couple of whiffs of romance but not really and I like that in a film about teenagers. It’s refreshing that the central characters have bigger fish to fry.
All that said though, this movie is probably not very memorable and I’m not sure if that’s because it does have a slightly light YA feel to it. I mean, I’m all for good YA material but I think my tastes have developed for much darker things. I would like to have explored some of the themes a little deeper so that is my only criticism. I wanted more and heavier.
3/5. There are worse (and better) ways to spend Sunday afternoon but I would say it’s worth a watch.
What did Jillian thinking of this one? Was in on the right tracks for her or…? Find out here. Obviously.<3