“I Believe In Unicorns” takes viewers on an emotional journey through the turmoil and tribulations of young love and the uncertainty of growing up.
Davina is a young girl drowning in reality. Her entire young life, she has helped care for her mother with multiple sclerosis. With her father out of the picture and her mom dependent on her, Davina is forced to be independent and imaginative. The movie takes viewers through her mind and allows them to see her self-constructed fantasies filmed in beautiful stop-motion.
Sterling enters the scene with his long hair, studded vest, bad boy attitude and the promise of adventure. Davina quickly falls for his charm as Sterling sweeps her into his world of reckless behavior and uncontrolled impulses.
Sterling and Davina take to the road, and they travel through the countryside. The couple switch between childish antics, lust-filled encounters and volatile fights at the drop of a dime.
Sterling may be older, but he matches Davina in maturity. Throughout the film, his violent past begins to bubble to the surface. Petty crime and forceful impulses hint at future trouble.
Sterling himself does not dream but shares Davina’s desire to get as far away from home as possible.
The home-movie feel gives the story an extra layer of childhood innocence. Scenes of roller-skating, running through fields and purchasing plastic dinosaurs add to the mix. In addition to this, viewers are reminded of Davina’s youth through her whimsical actions and desire for a fairytale love story.
While the specific events may seem extreme, the emotions involved are all too familiar to many viewers. First love is a whirlwind of emotions of not knowing what is right and what is wrong. It is easy to give in to impulses and ignore any warning signs.
This film was very raw and did not attempt to sugarcoat what took place. At times the intensity was hard to stomach and closure seemed to be lacking. This is a film worth catching at this year’s Citizen Jane Film Festival.
MOVE gives “I Believe in Unicorns” 4 out of 5 stars.