Doll House 2022 Movie Review
Doll House has a simple premise but its execution is shaky at best. This morally ambiguous story takes us into the mind of a troubled and flawed father trying to rekindle the relationship he never had with his daughter. While the idea is nice, the way Doll House presents his character and situation leaves a lot to be desired.
The story begins with a glimpse of the future, with a young woman arriving at a nursing home to find her father in worse shape. He has lost his memory of her and does not remember who she is. This man is Rustin, and we go back in time to see him at the height of his infamy.
Playing in a rock band, Rustin works hard and plays hard in equal measure, using a constant cocktail of alcohol and drugs to keep him going. When his friend Diego takes a turn for the worse, Rustin decides to make amends for the wrongs he has caused and travels to Rotterdam to make it happen.
So what’s in Holland, you ask? Well, just his estranged daughter, Yumi, whom he decided to abandon while his wife Sheena was pregnant to pursue rock music. Since then, no one has heard from him. Sadly, Sheena passed away, leaving the responsibilities of caring for Bok and Rachelle. When Rustin shows up, he adopts a fake persona under the name Clyde in an effort to get to know his daughter, Yumi.
From here, the story takes on a sentimental tone, with Rustin meeting his daughter and making sure to hide the truth from Yumi as best he can. With Rachelle on a business trip and poor Bok being taken in by this man, when the truth is inevitably revealed, chaos ensues.
I won’t spoil all the twists on this, but tonally, the movie doesn’t really manage to tug at the heartstrings as much as it wants to. While there are some lovely montages where Rustin and Yumi play together, there is a segment where Rustin pulls her away from Bok so they can hang out and stay in a hotel together. Bok is very worried and Rustin finally turns off his phone. Meanwhile, whimsical music playing?
The problem with this angle is that Rustin isn’t exactly a warm lead that we can root for. He has many flaws and we see him drinking and doing drugs several times. At one point, he drinks so much that he nearly misses a rehearsal which he promises her daughter he’ll attend with her.
I can’t help but feel that a better way to go about this would have been to see Rustin get sober after the incident with Diego and then, as a promise of sobriety, set out to right the wrongs in his life, including meeting and meeting. his daughter.
Some of the acting is also a bit uneven in places, though that can be somewhat attributed to the fact that English is a second language here and the drama jumps back and forth between Filipino and English on multiple occasions.
However, the editing and camera work work a bit better, with a couple of perfectly framed segments standing out. However, the flashbacks have the clichéd fisheye lens attached to them.
Doll House is not a bad movie per se and the star of the show is without a doubt little Yumi. She’s super cute and the energy of her helps add a bit of fun vibrancy to what is otherwise a pretty normal and morally ambiguous story.