Seeking a better life in America, young Indian immigrant Riz (Geetanjali Thapa) checks into a squalid motel where she also works as a housekeeper. At first, she butts heads with her roommate Dallas (The Visit’s Olivia DeJonge), a volatile Texan with a penchant for quoting Dolly Parton. But soon a strong, mutual bond develops between the two, and they forge a plan to help each other escape their suffocating predicament. What begins as a series of petty crimes escalates quickly when the two outlaws target their drug-dealing, karaoke-obsessed boss (a deliciously wicked Cynthia Nixon), igniting an avalanche of violence and suspense in this explosive queer buddy crime drama that marks the promising feature debut of acclaimed short film director Sonejuhi Sinha (Love Comes Later).
Rising star Thapa gives a soulful performance, mixing vulnerability with dogged determination in every expression, and the fizzy, abrasive DeJonge is a perfect wild-card foil. With an incendiary screenplay and a score from avant-garde multi-instrumentalist Gingger Shankar, Stray Dolls takes big swings to reinvent the crime genre for a new generation.
— JESSE KNIGHT
Weaver’s Coffee & Tea
- Premiere Status: Bay Area