Whip It


Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer: Shauna Cross
Released: 2009
Starring: Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page

First of all, don’t be put off by Drew Barrymore as the director… Your preconceptions are invalid.

Whip It is certainly a fun and enjoyable film based around the exciting sport of Roller Derby. Since watching this movie, I really wanted to go to a Roller Derby bout which I was lucky enough to do this year. Boy, the violence portrayed in the movie is clearly through the eyes of Hollywood – it is so much more brutal in real life. Or maybe our Kiwi players are just more violent…? It was awesome nonetheless.

So, Whip It is about a seventeen year old girl called Bliss (Ellen Page <3) who discovers the world of Roller Derby and sees it as a way of setting herself free from her mother’s “50s womanhood” household.

Pash (Alia Shawkat) and Bliss (Ellen Page) at their day job in the “bustling metropolis know as Bodeen, Texas”.

It explores friendship, change and rebellion. It is truly a cool film which makes you want to become a Roller Derby player after every watch; the energy is contagious! By the end of the film you will be picking our your derby name!

Ellen Page has always been one of my favourite actors (Inception, Juno…) and every female character has such a strength about them – almost androgynous – similar to the

Bliss (Elen Page) and Oliver (Landon Pigg) make a fantastic pair, with Landon Pigg being a musician in real life, his band’s songs were included which were fantastic.

likes of Trinity from The Matrix. It’s very empowering.

I guess because Bliss (who becomes Babe Ruthless) is an “alternative” girl from a misfit town who beats all odds and becomes her own hero. A powerful message that is portrayed is that you should do what makes you happy at that moment – it doesn’t matter if it is not your career path or that you do it forever; just that you experience it and live in the moment is what matters.

Musically it transforms the potential chick-flick feel into a deeper and more emotional journey. My favourite score being “The Road To Austin” by the Section Quartet. As well as Jens Lekman’s “Your Arms Around Me” which is best heard with the scene that it is used with. They go together perfectly.

Drew Barrymore has really made a reputable name for herself behind the camera as well as in front, for sure. A fun and easy-watch but also an inspirational story that captures a vivid snapshot of Bliss’ life in a way that includes the realistic ‘ups and downs’ of life.

A feel-good comedy-drama. Worth a watch!

Jodie’s rating: 7.5/10

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About Jodie (NZ Film Freak)

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. I enjoy writing on my blog about films and songs, plus the odd random thought. Currently working as a writer in UK. Follow me on Twitter @NZFilmFreak and like my Facebook page NZ Film Freak. Follow my travels around the world www.jodiehart.co.nz
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4 Responses to Whip It

  1. Natalie says:

    Hey! Drew Barrymore did put me off, but since you put in a good word, I will give the film a go. Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. Pingback: Goodbye, 2012! | The Film Freak of NZ

  3. Pingback: Bridesmaids | The Film Freak of NZ

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