If you're loving the fact that teenagers are rising up to lead a movement in the U.S. right now, then the new movie Flower (cinematographer: Caroline Costa) — which hits theaters on March 16 — needs to be on your radar. The coming-of-age indie stars Zoey Deutch as 17-year-old Erica Vandross, who, as seen in this exclusive clip from Flower, bands together with a group of self-proclaimed vigilantes to frame men for paying underage girls for sex acts. Needless to say, things don't always go as planned.
Just in the movie's opening scene, Flower touches on a few seriously relevant topics. For one, there are teenagers taking matters into their own hands and holding those in power accountable for their actions. For another, the somewhat disturbing scene that sets the tone for Flower shows a sheriff abusing his power and committing sexual misconduct — which, sadly, is also very relevant to current current events. While it may sound like Flower might hit a little too close to home, don't worry; the movie uses humor to make the all-too-real events seem absurdly funny.
For example when the officer asks Erica where she learned to perform oral sex, she dryly replies, "middle school." It may be pitch-black dark humor, but what happens after that lightens the mood (well, somewhat) as Erica's friends blackmails the sheriff and hold him accountable for his lewd, criminal behavior.
It's gratifying to watch Erica and her friends, Kala (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet), get revenge on the sheriff (Eric Edelstein) by taking control over the situation and shifting the power towards themselves. "You are on Candid Camera motherf**ker, I just got head from a 17-year-old edition" Erica says in the scene. "Now playing at a prison near you," Erica's friend, Kala, chimes in. Dale is quick to point out that the video Claudine is recording on her phone will be considered entrapment, making it unable to hold up in court, but that's not what the three teens are going for. They plan to simply take matters into their own hands, outside of the law.
The scene sets a theme that continues throughout Flower, which is that while the group of teens don't wish to follow any rules, they do seek revenge against the multiple sexual assault offenders they encounter. Flower involves another story of an adult in power allegedly sexually assaulting an underage student — Erica's stepbrother, Luke. After Luke gets out of rehab, Erica and her two friends attempt to help him get revenge against his former teacher (played by Adam Scott) who Luke claims sexually assaulted him in the past.
While Flower confronts heavy subjects, its frequent use of humor makes the film more fun than you might expect. While Deutch says frankly in the movie's trailer, "shaking down a child molester is our moral obligation," the approach that the teens use to wreak havoc on men's lives doesn't exactly take a morally upright approach, and instead involves some major mayhem.
Duetch nails her role as a snarky teen who both operates outside of the rules yet craves justice. In an interview with Bustle, the actor said that the movie seems "bizarrely relevant," but that the overall story about a group of young people defying the corrupt authoritative figures in their lives offers an inspiring tale. "For me, at least, it’s an awesome time to watch this young woman take control of her life and get back at the f**kers who deserve it," Deutch told Bustle.
Whether you go for the vulgar, dark humor or the empowering message, Flower will have you cheering for its main characters, as twisted as they may be.