Kalifornia is a road trip noir directed by Dominic Sena and written by Stephen Levy and Tim Metcalfe. This also has an amazing cast of four. Brad Pitt plays the psychopath Early Grayce and steals the show with his performance. This is fairly early in his career, just after his break through role in A River Runs Through It. We will see Pitt in quite a few neo-noir films through the decade of the 1990’s. Juliette Lewis plays Early’s girlfriend and is no stranger to playing characters who are a little off the wall. David Duchovny plays our hero, a writer who gets in over his head, and his girlfriend is played by Michelle Forbes.
Our story starts with Duchovny getting a gig writing a book about serial killers and plans a trip across the country to visit sites of famous murders. His girlfriend is excited, because as a photographer she wants to go to California and this is their chance. The don’t have enough money to make it on their own so they advertise to find somebody that will share the ride. Pitt and Lewis live in a trailer and are down on their luck. They owe back rent and don’t have a job. They soon decide to start over in California. Before they leave Pitt kills the landlord and torches the trailer and his car. The four all meet at a bus depot and start our adventure across the country.
This film is shot in a very noir style and the story is very dark. We visit a lot of strange and disturbing locations as the crew traverse the country. The performances from our four main actors are spot on.
This may not be a classic, but maybe it should be. Maybe it gets over shadowed by Pitt’s other movies to come like Seven and Fight Club. If you haven’t seen this in a while you should go back and re-watch it too. If you haven’t seen it yet, seek it out, you will enjoy it.
Favorite Tidbit: The four famous murder scene locations all are named after our four main characters in some way.