Olive (Amanda Crew) has had a rough week, she’s been fired and she’s gone through a breakup. When her friends urge her to get out of the city she books a beautiful old house for the weekend not knowing that the home’s owner (Robert Patrick) is a killer and he’s just added her to his bucket list.
Robert Patrick stars as Harvey, a regular joe, who has gotten to a point in his life where he’s checking off his bucket list. He’s traveled the world, he’s had a great love, raised a family, and now there’s just one thing left to do that he has never done, kill someone.
Writer-director Richard Bates Jr. takes us on a strange trip in Tone-Deaf. Crew’s Olive is the embodiment of all things Millenial, which happens to be the one thing Harvey hates more than anything. In fact, in my opinion, the whole film is about the tension felt between Millenials and Baby Boomers. You know what I mean, just take a stroll down social media and you’ll find someone talking trash about the other generation or a Republican raising hell about Liberals. Baby Boomers complain about Millenials being lazy,over-sensitive and spoiled. Millenials blame Baby Boomers about the state of the world, global warming, etc… One example from the film, everyone has always told Olive she is a talented pianist, she’s not. In fact, she sucks. For her entire life, everyone has spared her feelings, until now.
Olive isn’t a character I wanted to cheer for. I found her obnoxious, self-absorbed, and rude. I could not get invested in the character because she had no redeeming qualities. However, Harvey is a different matter. While there is no reason why he wants to kill, other than just to it, I simply found that I had more in common with him. He’s disgruntled, frustrated, grumpy, and sick of b.s. He just wants to do this one thing and he’s determined to follow through.
There are moments throughout the film where Patrick’s Harvey breaks the fourth wall, talking directly to the viewer. It’s an interesting idea. Speaking of strange, Harvey has these sterile dreams that are just odd. Filled with latex wearing people in wigs, one dream stands out, two men in drag kissing. You can see how his character is repulsed by it and it comes across a bit homophobic. Maybe he’s trying to work through his son being gay? The dream seems like a big deal but we only see his son and partner for an instant in the final scene. Maybe the reaction is a byproduct of Harvey’s generation? Maybe the dream was there simply to throw us off balance?
Tone-Deaf is surprising, different, twisted and fun, a solid 4 out of 5. It’s definitely worth a watch. Tone-Deaf opens in theaters and arrives On Demand on August 23, 2019, from Saban Films, go see it.