After winning both the Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award for Narrative Feature competition, Krisha showed as one of the final screenings for SXSW. Director Trey Edward Shults mentioned that the premiere did not even have a full house, but hundreds came out to see this acclaimed film in its later screenings. Krisha combines an intense and important story with a incredible score and inspired cinematography to leave audiences with a piece that takes digesting.
The excellence of Krisha lies in the editing, camera work and musical score, all which
serve the story and have an effect on the viewer throughout the film. By far, the most talked about aspect of this work was the music. It frequently jarred those watching and certainly caused the audience to notice. However, every note entered the picture for a reason, often to display Krisha’s mood or current emotional state.
When we are first introduced to Krisha (Krisha Fairchild), we have no idea who she is. In fact, the film includes very little of the typical exposition expected in movies. Instead, viewers are forced to piece together the backstory and understand the relationships between characters as the plot moves along. Every element of the filmmaking process provides a look at a complicated character through things like changes in the aspect ratio and intercutting between a few events that seem to all occur at once. When Krisha first arrives, it’s clear she has been absent from the family for many years. However, she has come to her family’s Thanksgiving to make amends. But as she deteriorates, the audience feels her slip back into old habits and watches her world collapse.
Trey spoke about his inspiration for the film and the tragedy he and his family endured. During a family reunion, Trey’s cousin relapsed and later died of an overdose. The film loosely follows this premise but instead casts the addict as the wacky aunt, played by his real aunt Krisha. Trey’s mother and other aunt also star in the movie even though they are not actors by profession. Fairchild, however, has substaintial acting experience and truly shows off her chops in this piece. Because of her experience, much of her dialogue was improvised and she was able to encourage some of the other cast members to do so as well. The final product combines these elements to produce a fresh film perfect for the SXSW festival.