Endearingly Messy: Our Review of ‘Door Mouse’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical, VOD/iTunes/DigitalDownload by - January 13, 2023
Endearingly Messy: Our Review of ‘Door Mouse’

You never quite know what you need until it’s presented in front of your face….

On VOD and limited theatrical today; Door Mouse is an endearingly dirty little punk rock film noir that thrives thanks to an endearing charm from all involved that simply has to be seen to be believed.

Door Mouse is about a woman named Mouse (Hayley Law) who is stuck in her dead-end job, nihilistic and unsure of the point of engaging in what she sees as a doomed future. She works at Mama’s Burlesque Club all night, where her boss Mama (Famke Janssen) encourages her to pursue her real passion of making comics.  When a friend from work named Doe-Eyes goes missing and the cops do nothing about it, Mouse and her sidekick Ugly (Keith Powers) take it upon themselves to find out what happened to her.  What they discover is that corruption runs deep, monsters are real and that sometimes, and justice is meant to be taken into your own hands.

Make no mistake, while this is a dirty little movie, there’s an honest charm about it as it owns being punk-rock comic book homage to film noir.

Working with a limited budget actually does first time writer/director Avan Jogia some favors here as it allows him to really focus on the characters and the on the form of the story that he is telling.

While it flips many of the gender roles that we see in a film like this, it’s very much a note for note love letter to films like The Lady From Shanghai & Double Indemnity and deciding to wrap that all in a lo-fi punk rock esthetic actually works to a tee.

Jogia’s visual influences here are very clear and allows for his female first driven narrative (along with many punk rock female musicians added to the soundtrack) to give this film the kind of energy that manages to be both fresh and familiar at the same time.

All that being said though, this film shines thanks to the strength of its lead.

Hayley Law unquestionably gets the energy of the piece and truly makes the archetype film noir into something of her very own.  She owns every frame of the screen that she is in and while we appreciated the realities of her moribund existence we relate to the hope of something more that seeps through the pours of the characters skin.

The players around her fit to a tee with Keith Powers as the good man in Mouse’s life who is just trying to protect her while Famke Janssen embraces the tragic role reversal as the world weary sage mentor that tries to do what she can be the people in her orbit who don’t quite understand the world that they are all living in.

At the end of the day, if you want to support some Canadian genre cinema with a fresh storytelling twist, Door Mouse will be right up your alley.  It’s messy but it’s so endearingly messy that you won’t be able to look away from any of it and you’ll get excited for what might be coming next in careers of the storytellers working their craft here.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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