Everyone has had a moment where they feel like they don’t belong. Where they feel like they’re not good enough. When they think the world is moving too fast, and they’re going too slowly. These are the themes that are tackled in Brie Larson’s directorial debut, Unicorn Store. However, has this Netflix movie got the magic it wants you to believe in?
The plot follows Kit (Brie Larson) and creative and whimsical girl, as she receives an invitation to The Store: a magical place, where you can get what you want and what you need. Curated by The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson), Kit embarks on a journey to fulfil her childhood dreams.
This movie is far from formulaic. As bog-standard as the plot may be, it’s execution is far from it. It’s a culmination of childish wonder, creativity and quite a lot of glitter. Essentially, it’s as though you looked at the complete make-up of a Care Bear.
As far as a directorial debut goes, it’s not too shabby. It’s definitely an acquired taste, with the majority of the movie being implied rather than said outright, but it’s an ode to the magic you believed in as a child. In a way, you experience everything that Kit feels: every tantrum, every broken dream, every bit of rejection. It’s a heartbreaking reminder that you’re not the only one who hurts, and you’re not the only one who needs help to stop hurting.
Brie Larson’s performance is a scattered, funny and intense one. Every feeling that is portrayed is done so with such vigour, and it translates almost as though she feels the same way a child does. Nothing is done by half measures, and through both the good and the bad, you feel everything she’s feeling in equal measures.
Samuel L. Jackson, however, is the complete opposite. He holds his cards close to his chest, making you not completely sure whether or not he’s trustworthy. He’s a smiley, overly happy character, who promises something you can only get in your wildest dreams. He’s a character that can only be interpreted by the viewer: are you a believer, or not?
The entire movie is an explosion of colour. It lives up to the connotations of unicorn, with rainbows, glitter and gemstones sparkling in every shot. The set direction is wonderful: it’s a reminder that everyone has their childish side still inside them, even if they are adults. Pop tarts are scattered amongst the brown sofas, the grey office space is brightened with a lametta suit jacket.
As well as this, it’s actually quite amusing. There are the odd few lines that don’t make it clear as to whether they are intentionally funny or just cause a laugh by accident, but these are some of the funniest parts. It genuinely is a feel-good movie that makes you smile, even if it sounds a little bit strange.
However, as creative as the film may be, some of the elements don’t quite make the cut. The plot itself is slightly hard to follow, with the majority of it happening in the last half of the movie. As well as this, it’s a movie that requires a lot of attention in order to fully appreciate the satirical elements of it. It’s a well-crafted movie, but it’s just a lot of work to follow despite there not being a lot of pay off.
Regardless, this movie is an ode to the wonder that are the people around us. It’s a metaphor for the push we need to be our best selves, and to find the determination all of us have inside of ourselves to make ourselves happy. It’s a love story for friends, family and self care. This movie wants you to love yourself.
As saccharine as the sentiment may be, it’s a really lovely movie to watch. It lifts your mood immediately, and it’ll receive a few titters here and there. It may even make you shed a tear in the final few scenes. Overall, it’s a reminder that life isn’t worth living if it’s not covered in glitter, so you need to sprinkle as much as you can find anywhere you can. If you’re feeling a little bit down, this is definitely worth a watch.