An indie production that doesn’t seem to know what it’s trying to accomplish, Fyre is a little-girl-lost story following a 17-year-old down the dehumanizing path of abuse, drugs, and prostitution following a family tragedy. The picture isn’t sensitive enough to score as a probing drama, and it’s not sufficiently sleazy to qualify as exploitation, so about all that can be said for Fyre is that it’s briskly paced, coherent, and competently made. Is that enough to make it worth watching? Not unless you feel the need to see every movie in this sordid genre, or unless you’re taken with curvy leading lady Lynn Theel, who appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows during the late ’70s and early ’80s without gaining much career momentum. Watching her play the wayward lass whose nickname provides this film’s title, it’s not hard to see why Theel failed to achieve stardom. She gets the job done, and her effort to summon emotion in dramatic scenes appears to be genuine, but nothing sets her apart from other performers. And, unfortunately, she’s pretty much the whole show. Director and co-writer Richard Grand builds the entire movie around Theel’s character, tracking Fyre’s woes as she experiences rape, the loss of family members, a descent into the sex trade, a fraught love relationship with a small-time criminal, and even, just for extra titillation, a near-miss encounter with lesbianism. Then, once the movie reaches its climax of Fyre realizing self-definition is her only path to happiness, Fyre ends up feeling like an after-school special with a bit of R-rated raunch thrown in for no special reason. Offering some distraction from the blandness is a recurring character named Preacher, played by the rotund actor Allen Garfield; a fast-talking crook who drifts in and out of Fyre’s life, he’s the closest thing the movie has to novelty.
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