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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sean Kelly

Canadian Film Fest 2014: H & G

HGThis loose retelling of the story of Hansel and Gretel focuses on Harley (Annika Elyse Irving) and Gemma (Breazy Diduck-Wilson), who live an impoverished life with their mother Krysstal (Ashley Rebecca Moore).  One night Krysstal goes to a party with her new boyfriend Gary (Erik Athavale), leaving the kids in the backseat of the car.  After a fight, Gary abandons Krysstal at the side off the road and drives off, forgetting that Harley and Gemma are asleep in the back.  When he does discover this fact, he abandons them in the woods.  Trying to find their way home, Harley and Gemma find their way onto a pig farm, where they are taken in by the farmer Brendan (Tony Porteous).  While initially coming off as kind, Brendon beings to to show favouritism to Harley, while forcing Gemma to clean the house. Desperate to get home, Gemma has to find a way to contact her mom and escape this farm with Harley.

H & G takes the basic elements of the Hansel and Gretel story and creates a film that is very much based in the real world.  One particularly clever touch is how the original story’s house of candy is represented in this film by a castle-shaped cake Brendan bakes for Harley.  Like the original story, Brendan turns out to be too good to be true and there are some revelations about him, and his favouritism of Harley, that is far more scary than a witch fattening kids up to cook. Also, somewhat disturbing was a third act house party, particularly some of the things said by Brendan’s alcoholic brother Willy.

I do have to give praise to the kids in the lead roles, with me not knowing until afterwards that BOTH Harley and Gemma were played by girls. Overall, H & G was a well made, though sometimes dark, real life fairytale.

8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).