"Woodshock," the first-time feature film from fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, has exactly the visual flair one would expect – it wants to ignite the senses and leave audiences in awe.
But despite all the visual bells and whistles throughout "Woodshock," ultimately the emperor has no clothes – the film lacks direction in the screenplay (written by the Mulleavys), leaving audiences frustrated.
Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, who we see early on with her gravely ill mother as she assists in her mother's death by lacing medical marijuana with some sort of liquid substance.
Theresa is never able to let the loss of her mother go, however, drifting further into a drug-induced haze that isolates her from everyone she knows. As her guilt and paranoia grow, the more out of touch with reality she becomes. At the same time, the more confused the audience becomes, with "Woodshock" issuing a series of dream-like sequences that never quite add up.
The Mulleavys might have a keen eye behind the camera, creating a few visual moments that pique the interest of the audience, but those moments are fleeting. Soon it becomes obvious that the film – much like its lead character – lacks direction or focus. It's a film in which the pacing starts painfully slow and gets slower as it progresses.
Dunst is a good choice for the lead, emoting that sadness quite effectively, but it quickly becomes a one-note performance because the film asks her to do nothing else.
The Mulleavys do show some promise behind the camera in "Woodshock," but perhaps for their next project they work from someone else's script.