Aimy In A Cage
Crispin Glover, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Terry Moore
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“…a Lynchian neon fairy-tale…”
Trying to pinpoint what Aimy in a Cage is about is not the same as simply recalling the plot. That’s the easy bit. Writer and Director Hooroo Jackson has conjured up a Lynchian neon fairy-tale complete with cartoon sound effects, a persistent jovial soundtrack, dastardly villains and a Disney princess at the epicentre.
Free spirit Aimy (Allisyn Ashley Arm) lives an apparently affluent lifestyle with her austere family and cowardly repugnant boyfriend. When her eccentric ways become too much for everyone, Aimy is subjected to a severe form of therapy, spearheaded by her Grandma (Terry Moore), that’s one part Pavlov’s dog and two parts electric shock therapy. When that fails, the young girl is subjected to an escalating regime of physical and mental abuse. Meanwhile, a deadly virus permeates outside the family’s four walls, threatening to wipe out mankind.
Dig deep into the narrative and you’ll find themes around the issues of mental health and everyday sexism. Aimy is obviously in control of her own mind and body, but continually has her agency taken away by people who think they know better. Crispin Glover appears as Grandma’s fiancé; acting like the Big Bad Wolf ready to gobble up Aimy as soon as he’s done with his bride to be. Paz de la Huerta is on hand as Aimy’s ineffectual tutor who, but for the grace of cocaine, could be a fairy godmother.
Starting off light and comedic, Aimy in a Cage is a trap that lulls unsuspecting viewers with its Wes Anderson visuals and Roald Dahl storytelling. Before long it escalates into a visual primal scream where the world takes out its aggression on someone who everyone else believes to be ill, whilst ignoring the sickness deeply rooted in their own society.