The upcoming comedy drama feature film ‘Donna & Ally’ directed by Connor Mahony, finds two delinquents who turn into small-time criminals. Aspiring to become somebody in life, Donna and Ally want to avoid their inevitable prison sentences at all costs. Narrowly escaping danger and embracing the essence of hustle culture, the girls strive to become exotic dancers and make some money before their scheme is up forever. However, fate, it seems, always has an ace up its sleeve and the girls will soon find themselves in a bit of a bind.
One of the film’s strongest suits is the acting from the two leads, Cousin Shy and Qing Qi, which is perfect for the roles for which they have been chosen. Displaying the right amount of sass and comedic chops, Donna & Ally are chaotic, funny and make the audience identify with their struggles. The actors behind the characters have done a wonderful job bringing their personas to life onscreen and since almost every second of the film is hysterical, it appears that they have succeeded at their job. It is a joy to see the trainwreck of Donna and Ally’s everyday escapades as they do almost anything to escape their unfavourable condition but still manage to spectacularly fail in this quest.
Like Superbad or The Hangover, Donna & Ally makes human misfortune funny and even though it feels like one shouldn’t laugh at the constant stumbles on display, the context is presented in such a way that one cannot help but do so regardless. This is a definite win on part of the director for succeeding in making the film so damn funny.
Part of the appeal of the film lies in its diverse characters as the creators of Donna & Ally have written a story populated with a variety of different, quirky characters. Some of these characters are quite memorable, others not so much but the crux is that these characters are written and brought to life in a way that they fly off the screen right into our memories. From the exotic dancers to the diverse set of customers that the dancers come across, every character makes his or her mark. With the cast being jam packed as it is, this enables the audience to remember these well written characters well after the film has ended.
The narrative pacing of the film is brisk and this helps keep the story on its toes as no moment is lost during useless exposition dumps. The focus is on both Donna & Ally and how their lives change and collide in pursuit of their dreams. Other supporting characters are briskly introduced and then utilised for the service of the story. The script balances comedy and drama well and each character is unique enough to have his or her own place in the moving cog of the story. Displaying narrative deftness, the director creates situations around the journey of the two characters that are not only funny but also further their respective character arcs.
Therefore, Donna & Ally is a rollicking adventure that takes a while to get going but once it does, there is no going back as it steamrolls ahead in a cacophony of debauchery, adventure, and grit. The story is potent, the acting on point and the situational comedy makes the film way better than it has any right to be. The film is dark, funny, and poignant all rolled into one and is in the same league as other famous dark comedies that have attained cult status in recent memory. Perfect for watching with friends, Donna & Ally is a great time at the movies.