Foul-mouthed, unapologetic, visceral, and authentic, Firecrackers also happens to be sharply edited, its narrative complemented by Casey MQ’s gorgeous electronic ambient/drone score.
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Firecrackers is not as casually joyful as its title suggests – but it is absolutely as incendiary.
The actors make the ordinary extraordinary — they give these characters the stature that eludes most superheroes.
For all that it dances on familiar ground, Firecrackers ends on a pleasingly opaque note. It’s attractively shot by Catherine Lutes, and smartly cast with unknowns, making it more than just a calling card for its young writer/director. There’s much to take note of here foom Mozaffari and her all-female crew.
This is a movie that, like its characters, is more fluent in feelings than in words.
Neither over-bleak nor falsely heroic, the movie sensitively observes a short span that, however things work out, is going to be a turning point in their lives.
Firecrackers isn’t just a confident feature debut from Mozaffari, but a daring one, the kind of fast and furious feminine filmmaking that heralds the arrival of several exciting new talents.
The story may be overly familiar, but the language is slangy and crude, the sex is teen-impulsive and primitive, and the confrontations — on a littered beach, in that school parking lot, in a pool hall — are alarming. Firecrackers is a simple tale told with a raw ferocity and fuse-burning-down dread for the explosions to come.
It’s rare for a feature debut to be as fully realized and executed as Firecrackers. It’s as if someone forgot to tell director/writer Mozaffari that making your first feature film is a tough go, filled with doubts, indecision and second guessing; her choices never seem obvious yet always feel right.
It’s an all too familiar, almost clichéd tale you’ve heard and seen before, complete with a much-yearned freedom journey to nowhere. But Mozaffari gradually makes this particular doomed excursion her own with a distinct style, even though her plotting choices don’t approach a sense of high-stakes urgency.