"I Believe in Unicorns" is a cinematic gem that takes viewers on a surreal journey through the complexities of young love and the escapist power of imagination. Released in 2014, this indie film, directed by Leah Meyerhoff, stands out with its unique blend of gritty realism and fantastical storytelling.
The narrative follows the life of Davina, portrayed with raw emotion and depth by Natalia Dyer, who later rose to fame with "Stranger Things." Davina is a teenager grappling with the responsibilities of caring for her disabled mother. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she meets an older boy, Sterling, played by Peter Vack, and they embark on a road trip, leaving behind the constraints of their everyday lives.
What makes "I Believe in Unicorns" remarkable is its visually poetic approach. The film seamlessly intertwines Davina's imaginative daydreams with her stark reality. Meyerhoff uses a mix of Super 8 and 16mm film, creating a dreamlike quality that perfectly captures the essence of Davina's internal world.
However, beneath its whimsical surface, the film delves into more profound themes. It explores the tumultuous nature of adolescent romance and the sometimes-painful process of growing up and facing reality. The movie's nuanced portrayal of young love and escapism resonates deeply, especially with its target audience of teens and young adults.
The film's pacing might feel slow to some, but this deliberate tempo allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in Davina's world. The soundtrack also deserves mention, enhancing the film's ethereal quality.
Overall, "I Believe in Unicorns" is a poignant and beautifully crafted film that showcases the power of storytelling. It's a must-watch for those who appreciate indie cinema's ability to explore complex emotions and themes with delicacy and imagination.