‘Burning Palms’ makes ‘Magnolia’ look like a comedy…

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Dysfunction sells well in contemporary entertainment. Why else would we tune in so avidly to shows like ‘Dexter’, ‘True Blood’, ‘Entourage’ and ‘Mad Men’ on the telly? And cinema is turning on to storylines just as twisted. ‘Burning Palms’ is a movie so warped that while it may not be in the same Oscar-worthy ensemble category as, say, ‘Crash’, its intense scenarios make ‘Magnolia’ look like an actual comedy.

Set in incestuous Los Angeles it criss-crosses the stories of a father’s relationship with his precocious teenage daughter (that borders on incest), a lover who comes undone in the manner of Macbeth following her boyfriend’s kinky bedroom requests, a gay couple who bring home the ultimate lifestyle accessory in an African child only to realise that keeping up with the queer Jones is tedious work, a lonely woman who confronts her attacker with a bizarre request, and an unsupervised boy who leads his brothers down rather disturbing paths.

From the co-screenwriter of ‘Disturbia’ and ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ this macabre satire of sorts features a motley crew of a cast that includes Dylan McDermott, Paz Vega, Zoe Saldana, and the sorely missed (sincerely!) Shannen Doherty of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ fame (who might best have stuck with an American accent instead of feigning British). Stick around for the ending of this flick and you’ll realise why they’ve tagged it with the slogan ‘Five Tales That Will F#%! You Up For Life’.

 

‘Burning Palms’ is available on Blu-ray (RRP $44.95) and DVD ($39.95).