Dirty God bravely traverses territory not normally seen in movies. The movie is about a burn survivor victim named Jade (Vicky Knight). After trying to move on with her life, Jade becomes consumed with wanting to be “normal” again. She also struggles to re-enter a world that mocks and humiliates her. What follows is a journey of self discovery and growth.
Knight is fabulous as the lead character. A burn victim herself, there is a realism the newcomer brings to the role. The difficulties and insecurities that Jade goes through are ones that Knight seems to be familiar with. It is an unflinching look at a character that will be too real for some. It also adds a dimension to Dirty God not normally seen in film.
What makes Knight’s performance so good is she is playing a part. Dirty God is no documentary and Knight is not playing herself. Jade is a well rounded character who is headstrong, confused, and flirty. She is not there to be pitied and can even be unlikable at times. This will cause audiences to be even more engaged with the film.
The story is a powerful one. Due to her scars, Jade is ignored at best, a source of ridicule at worst. Her own daughter cries in fear when she sees her. It is understandable why much of Dirty God is about Jade’s search to have plastic surgery done. In a world obsessed with looks, Jade simply does not fit. She wants her life to return to what it was before the vicious attack left her scarred.
Dirty God is also about coming to terms with one’s self. Jade’s determination is almost admirable, but she is also so strong-willed it clouds her thinking. The plot does a great job of conveying the importance of self worth. The best moments in the movie are when Jade learns a life lesson. There is a real sense of satisfaction in seeing her come to a realization.
There are some movies whose only goal is to emotionally manipulate. They trot our characters and situations that are only there to tug at heartstrings. Dirty God sounds like it is going to be that type of movie, but never is. It is a genuinely emotional story about a person learning to live in a cruel world. The great performances and realistic depiction of life make it a great watch.
Dirty God opens in select theaters November 13. It will be available on digital platforms December 15.
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