How I see “Destroyer” (2018)

This is about the movie “Destroyer” from 2018 by Karyn Kusama starring Nicole Kidman and Toby Kebbell. The movie has a plot twist that calls for rewatching it, here is the list of things I aim to look for. Spoiler alert! Only read on if you have watched it once.

The movie is comparable to “Heat” or “Usual Suspects” in the way it shows a gang preparing for a robbery. It is different as the characters depicted are much more realistic. It is captivating as it follows the characters for 16 years and shows the source of the misery and te consequences. The main character, Erin, is drawn between a lawful life and breaking the law for a pleasurable life, the daily struggle of many. Many cops in the USA come from poorer families, like she.

  • When I first watched the movie, the title “Destroyer” maps to Erin, the protagonist, who seems to destroy her own life and the life of others. After the plot twist, I believe that the antagonist, Silas, is the destroyer. He draws multiple people into his group and captivates them, destroying their lifes. Erin wants to free herself and others of the destruction he causes.
  • The rich man’s daughter Petra, Erin’s daughter Shelby, and Erin herself are women drawn to dubious characters. All can’t escape. But for Shelby, Erin wants to protect her.
  • Seeing it the first time it, I saw a movie telling a cop plot. Seeing it the second time, I see the memory of Erin trying to explain to herself what happened. The order of scenes is as she recalls them from memory. The colors, angles, style of filming is as she remembers it, the decorations show what she remembers. One part of the movie – the lawyer scene – is filmed in the colors of an advertisement. This shows her look on the lawyer living a dream like an ad. Many other scenes are blurry and unfinished because of her mental state. First it looks weird, seeing it again knowing it is fantastic.
  • When “Silas returns” it is because he runs out of money. The second robbery is only because he runs out of money. He sends Erin the dollar note to ask her for money and blackmail her.