digitally starting on January 13th
Door Mouse has plenty of Quinten Tarantino and punk rock vibes in its story about Mouse (Hayley Law), a comic book illustrator whose only real paying job is that of a burlesque performer. But when her colleagues get kidnapped, she becomes a gumshoe with a mission–to protect her sisters from the hood. They either wind up dead or much worse. As a result, the cops dismiss the problem as not worth investigating. Instead of waiting to be a victim, she’d rather be a victor in this quirky indie film smartly written and well directed by Avan Jogia.
This movie’s greatest strength lies in how perfect the neo-noir atmosphere is realised. Not only is it coloured in pastel lights, but also we get an appropriate sound design to make the world feel grungy. Additionally, the illustrations are animated to recognize how this lead looks at the world. This approach works to explain why she’s drawing from her life experience to create her comic book. The grittiness that’s visualised makes me wonder if we’ll ever see a sampler as a booklet when the home video release is ready. The sketches I see makes me think this artist is inspired by Robert Crumb.
Mouse hasn’t made it big in her chosen profession, and without the support of friends and readers, to get a publisher to print her work will be tough. She’s been self publishing for a while now, and that’s tough on the pocket book.Although the comic book guy says he truly supports the indies, I can see a blend of those works and a few mainstream in the scene where this illustrator is wandering through the comic book shop. His store has to sell a few mainstream titles to stay afloat, otherwise he can’t make rent.
Elsewhere, this heroine’s workplace is a cesspool. Mama (Famke Janssen), doesn’t want her staff to feel underappreciated so she helps out when she can. Her operation helps give them a sense of financial stability, but I feel there’s more to her than meets the eye. For me to reveal too much about her and her importance to Mouse would spoil the film.
Instead, I can look at Ugly (Keith Powers), who is like a shining light. He tries his best to help Mouse, and this cool cat is this film’s highlight! He’s more than a friend to her, although she doesn’t know it. Not only does he have style, but that charm is infectious! But ultimately, this movie is about Mouse trying to succeed on her own. But it can’t happen until she understands she has friends willing to help. While social workers can’t help everyone get out of the poorhouse, other individuals exist to do everything they can to inject positivity in other’s lives.
Thankfully, happiness is a hop and skip away. Her success means putting those personal touches in that story to sell that ‘zine she’s been working on. At first, she didn’t know how to continue those particular adventures, but after her real life attempts to solve a crime, what she discovers helps her out. Sometimes, that assist is there, when you’re willing to let the right person into your heart.
4 Stars out of 5
Door Mouse Trailer