'Becky' Reveals Unique Anti-Hero in its Titular Character
June 29, 2020
Becky is a fairly predictable thriller/horror piece reminiscent of both Hard Candy and Funny Games. The film truly shines in the performance of titular character Becky, played by Lulu Wilson. Wilson is a star in the making; an actor you cannot take your eyes off of as she breaks your heart, loses her innocence, seeks revenge, and comes of age with a single glance.
Becky’s plot is home-invasion-movie-meets-a-very-dark-Home Alone as Becky has to take on neo-Nazi bad guys in a solo revenge story. There’s also an unexpected turn from bad guy ringleader Dominick (Kevin James) worth noting, but this is truly Wilson’s showpiece. Directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion stated Wilson was their first choice to play their protagonist from the beginning.
“We had always wanted Lulu to be Becky,” the directors effused.
“We were so happy when the financing came together and we could actually work with her.”
The directors were also able to achieve the rare feat of being able to shoot the film in order, helping Wilson deliver a wide range of emotions.
“Lulu was such a professional; she would come in and bring so much in every take. It was, ‘Let’s try another take to get something even more amazing.’”
Wilson comes across as wise beyond her character’s age of 14, yet she has the innocence needed to carry off a role that must come with some naiveté. Wilson’s character must visually and emotionally portray a balance of guiltlessness and rage as evil literally lands on the doorsteps of her childhood playhouse. It’s also hard not to project the politics of the day onto the blank slate of youth that Wilson brings to the role; an untarnished young woman about to face the embodiment of evil can’t not bring politics with it as America faces the resurgence of white supremacy on the daily. But it is the simplicity of the script for Becky that brings its appeal.
Milott and Murnion agree.
“The script has a great, simple premise: A 13-year-old gets revenge on people who have invaded her house. We loved exploring what violence can do to young people, and how to make it believable,” the directors said.
“In this movie, Becky is just a normal girl. She hasn’t gone to a karate class, but somehow she takes on four escaped convicts. We didn't want the movie to be a normal girl who turns into an assassin in a snap. We wanted a gradual, believable arc; and that was a fun challenge for us to honor that in the script.”
Milott says there were some grounded scenes in the script that stuck out from the beginning.
“In one of our favorite scenes there’s a moment when Becky makes a decision that is shocking to us. She has to make a very clear moral and ethical decision at one point and she makes a choice that you are like, ‘Wait, what is happening? I'm not sure if I agree with what just happened,’ or, ‘I can’t believe what just happened.’ We liked that there was a moment of questioning at the end of this film.”
It’s true that Becky is not a straight hero on a linear hero’s journey in any way; the writers and directors want you to question her choices, actions and the nature of violence in general. Like all good thrillers, there is tension and release and catharsis, but not without a deep questioning of what actions are justifiable.
“It’s a crazy, wild ride,” the directors enthused.
“There are some elements of what’s happening in the world in terms of the government and how kids are growing up in a society with the leaders we have right now, but we hope the movie provides a moment for people to detach from the world.”
Lucky for the audience, Wilson delivers this vengeful escape tale with such a bite that one cannot look away — no matter how much they might want to.
Becky is in theaters, drive-ins, on demand!
Written by: Lindsay StidhamLindsay holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. She has overseen two scripts from script to screen as a writer/ producer. SPOONER, starring Matthew Lillard (SLAMDANCE), and DOUCHEBAG (SUNDANCE) both released theatrically. Most recently Lindsay sold PLAY NICE starring Mary Lynn Rajskub. The series was distributed on Hulu. Recent directing endeavors include the Walla Walla premiering (and best screenplay nominated) TIL DEATH DO US PART, and the music video for Bible Belt’s Tomorrow All Today. Lindsay is currently working on an interactive romcom for the production company Effin' Funny, and a feature film script for Smarty Pants Pictures. Lindsay also currently works as an Adjunct Screenwriting Faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. You can follow her work here: https://lindsaystidham.onfabrik.com/