March 16 - March 19 , 2023

Review | Dissolved Girl – Kai Kaldro

fdiff March 24, 2022 5 min read

Dissolved Girl

Kai Kaldro’s recent film delivers a powerful message, coupled with brilliant acting!

Movie: Dissolved Girl

Dir: Kai Kaldro


“And Can You Offer Me Proof Of Your Existence? How Can You, When Neither Modern Science Nor Philosophy Can Explain What Life Is?” 
  • Ghost in the Shell

NYC based director Kai Kaldro’s new venture Dissolved Girl touches upon this very question of existence as the characters start to blur the lines between a human and a humanoid. Cyberpunk is a preferred genre of this time, as no other genre can offer a more compact representation of our coming future. Science fiction or cyberpunk show how flawed our society is, and Kai’s Dissolved Girl has been successful to portray that. The independent filmmaker has always tried to represent the noir, cyberpunk genre in his projects, and his childhood passion for filmmaking clearly reflects in the movie he has made. 

Dissolved Girl revolves around Lenore Warner, a young genius but misunderstood computer hacker and Val McGinnis, a humanoid undercover cop. The movie is set in the future amidst the political and cultural tension between humanity and humanoids. Lenore and Val have to come together in this dying hopeless world to punish the crime queen of New York city. 

In the film, Lenore is a misunderstood girl, her worldview consists of the two prime opposites. On one hand, she’s an embodiment of power and courage, ready to take down injustice and on the other, she seems just a lost little girl who has never gotten out of her princess dream. A little part of Lenore’s mind still harbours her love for the happy life, as the mirror, the stuffed toys and the cozy decorations in her den stand for her craving for her lost childhood and innocence. Lenore sometimes reminds the viewers of Major Motoko Kusanagi from the cult Anime movie Ghost in the Shell. Kusanagi’s,  “I Feel Confined, Only Free To Expand Myself Within Boundaries” echoes through the narrative of Lenore. Even though Lenore here is a complete human, unlike Kusanagi. Lenore fights alone like a lonely lioness against all the other threats. Her innocence was stolen by this cruel world and every moment she strives to fight back and exist in her full glory. Her costume as the Dissolved Girl is her way of waging a war against a society that has been rotten to its core. Our “half motorcycle chick, half Snow White” female protagonist stands out as a reminder to the viewers, inspiring them to reclaim their lost innocence.

The other character whom we see on screen is Val McGinnis. He’s a humanoid who eventually sees the angst and despair in Lenore and decides to help Lenore in tracking down the cybercrime syndicate. Val, like Lenore, understands the potential threats against humankind in a world where humans have lost their cherished innocence. 

The movie has been successful to show Talia Trammell, another humanoid who is the symbol of power and authority. Talia also lives a dual life, in front of the world she is an internet entrepreneur, and secretly she is the cybercrime queen who employs the angry young humans for her own advantage. Talia carries a peculiar absence-presence throughout the film, making every scene where she is mentioned feel strangely captive.

Thematically, the movie presents a perfect portrayal of our decaying society. Lenore attempts to bring back peace and innocence and by juxtaposing Talia with Val, Kai successfully shows the two sides of the humanoids.

Kai Kaldro has admired the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Raimi, Rob Zombie, Alex Proyas, Sophie Muller. That love and passion show in his work. The influence of Japanese anime is clear in the montages too. Certain graphic images use Kanji words signifying that the situation has spread throughout the world.

The film does a great job with the camera, Lidia Marukyan is a brilliant DOP. The camera angle keeps the movie going smoothly. The scenes use different shades of the colour red, reminding the viewers of cyberpunk gems and anime at the same time. Alexandra Sadeghian’s Lenore and Ivelaw Peters’ Val complement each other pretty well. From their mild bickering to their emotionally charged conversation, the actors held their grounds well making the characters convincing. Sadeghian, especially, has been able to express every single emotion Lenore goes through. She has shaped herself into Lenore and delivered a brilliant performance. The movie also pays tribute to the latest 90s rock/metal music through its soundtrack. The music fits the situation well and brings out the essence of cyberpunk. The movie often reminds one of Blade Runner, Matrix, Ghost in the Shells in its treatment, but still has much more to offer than that. Kai Kaldro has directed a great film, he delivers what he aimed at the very beginning and successfully wins over the hearts of its viewers.

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