Never has a dark-natured fairy tale about a slutty redneck girl confined to chains been so heartwarming and memorable. The film knows how to have a good time, while also creating an authentic relationship between the characters.
Always in trouble and getting attention for the wrong reasons, wild and impulsive Rae (Ricci) has some inner demons that she refuses to confront. After her boyfriend Ronnie (Timberlake) goes off into the military, Rae has no one to tie her down. Stampeding through her small town on a sexual rampage, Rae earns the respect of no one. Unsurprisingly, she ends up in a tense, harsh situation that leaves her severely injured and left on the side of the road. Luckily for her, she is scooped up by good-doing, guitar-strumming, Bible-thumping Lazarus (Jackson), who makes it his personal mission to help save this woman. However, knowing that she is a beast who can’t be tamed, Lazarus utilizes extreme means to try and contain Rae. Namely, he ties a chain around her waist and forces her to stay in his isolated home in the woods. Weirdly enough, Lazarus, who is going through a bitter divorce, and Rae are able to find salvation in one another.
The blues, repressed memories, and religion all come together in a whirlwind swamp of physical and mental grittiness. The movie is original and never seems exploitative or preachy. Ricci and Jackson are endearing on the screen together since both of them have a bit of an edge. The only downside is Timberlake, who I think was miscast in this role. Not that he isn’t a good actor, he just didn’t have the dirty Southern charm necessary to pull off the tough guy with a good heart that he was supposed to be. He isn’t really in the way though since most of the movie centers around Lazarus and Rae’s relationship. It is one of those movies that is daring and bold.