When I went to IMDB to get the names of the cast of A Vigilante, I was surprised to see so many names. This film is so intimately focused on Olivia Wilde as Sadie that it feels as if she is the only actor in the movie. It’s an all-in performance from Olivia Wilde.
As you might guess from the title, A Vigilante, the film is a revenge story. Sadie, an abused wife, helps others trapped in abusive situations get out. This isn’t a blood-dripping violent film as a men’s revenge story would be. Sadie is forceful but not murderous. What violence there is seldom appears on the screen. Except when violence is crucial to a character’s development, as it is in one particular case.
Written and directed by Sarah Daggar-Nickson, the story begins with Sadie responding to a call for help. She convinces an abusive man to sign over the family home and a large part of his cash to his wife and kids and then to leave forever.
Afterwards we see the toll such actions take on her. Wilde is raw with the emotion in this film. At times crying, or hyperventilating, or screaming, or comforting herself as best she can with what she has left in life. She’s damaged by life but she’s courageous at the same time. A remarkable performance in every way.
She plots something on a map, moves around a lot, changes cars often. If she gets a call that begins, “I’m looking out the window, and the trucks won’t stop coming,” she responds with help for other women. Once she helps a child.
She pummels a punching bag, holds plank positions at length, learns Krav Maga, forces herself to eat. That’s her existence.
The film circles back to Sadie’s time in a shelter. In this flashback, the Counselor (Tonye Patano) gets her to tell her story. A member of her support group, billed as Straight Up Shelter Woman (Judy Marte), says the things that set her on her path as a vigilante.
The final act is a suspenseful confrontation in an abandoned ski lodge in the forest. Sadie is determined to take control of her own life and she does it with calm courage.
The film is intense and real. The reality is feminine. The reality is about women. The reality is behind Olivia Wilde’s eyes. The rage is real. Every abused woman needs Sadie’s resolve and courage.
Watch the trailer for A Vigilante
You can see the film on Prime Video, YouTube and other streamers.
Have you seen A Vigilante? Please share your thoughts about it.