Tangerine Review – An Unforgettable Christmas Eve

Let’s just take a second and absorb the fact that Tangerine was shot entirely on three Iphone 5s. While this could go horribly wrong, Sean Baker clearly knew what he was doing, and this film is so much more than a gimmick or an advert for the phone.

A fair warning though, sometimes you won’t like what you see, because Tangerine while quite entertaining and funny, it doesn’t pull any punches when showing the dark alleys of Los Angeles. It is not for everyone, but it presents a story that is both engaging and different from what we are used to.

The film for the most part follows Sin-Dee a transgender searching for her pimp who has broken her heart. The story touches on various themes: prostitution, sex, family, friendship and more. While the acting is not perfect, it is solid enough to not take you out of the experience. I felt that these characters were real people throughout the whole film, and what it feels like the beginning of a comical adventure, feels much more than that. This is due to the gritty and realistic vibe the film gives off, and without warning it feels dirty and way too dark. It may leave you uncomfortable at times. The fact that it can have this effect, is indicative of how successful it is in presenting its story. The soundtrack I have to say is great, sets the rhythm beautifully, catchy beats when the journey is hot and somber music, when reality hits home.

Tangerine is an important film, for various reasons. It shows that indie movies can be an amazing experience, it shows that anyone with a good directing eye can film with a phone (and a couple accessories). More importantly in my opinion Tangerine manages to tell a story about transgenders touching on various prejudices towards them, without feeling forced. While it doesn’t dive deep into the issues transgenders face, it presents its story effectively offering characters that feel real. I was engaged as soon as I saw Sin-Dee walking on the streets of Los Angeles with determination.

The acting is not always up there, and the third act breaks the rhythm of an otherwise full-speed journey. These negatives are forgivable though, because Tangerine is a gripping experience, while not for everyone, it is definitely one you should not miss.

  • Acting
  • Cinematography
  • Writing
3.7

Summary

The acting is not always up there, and the third act breaks the rhythm of an otherwise full-speed journey. These negatives are forgivable though, because Tangerine is a gripping experience, while not for everyone, it is definitely one you should not miss.

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