Pulp Fiction meets Spring Breakers in the triumph Tangerine, a sun-bleached revenge tale that’s as outrageous as it is touching.
Sin-Dee has just been released from a month-long stint in prison, and is catching up with her best friend Alexandra at the donut shop. Alexandra accidentally slips that Sin-Dee’s boyfriend Chester has been cheating, the catalyst that sets the action in motion.
Sin-Dee stomps away on a ruthless mission to find Chester and/or the girl he’s been cheating with. She scours food stamp lines, hotel-room whorehouses, and taxicabs for any information to solve the mystery. She eventually finds the girl, Dinah, and literally drags her by the neck throughout Los Angeles to confront Chester with her evidence in hand.
Alexandra, trying to avoid the “drama,” embarks on her own mission, passing out flyers for her performance that night while earning some extra cash at work (prostitution). In one of the film’s more outrageous moments, she and a regular client conduct a transaction in a gas station car-wash – complete with gushing soap, trickling waterfalls, and the hand-dry treatment.
Tangerine is noteworthy largely for its subject matter – the two lead characters are transgender prostitutes, stopping at nothing to get what they want. This movie introduces us to people and places who frankly aren’t in the movies, and opens our eyes to a gritty underworld with passionate, irritable, and incredibly human characters.
In addition to the vibrant persona and world of Tangerine, it’s just plain good filmmaking. It’s an undeniably entertaining revenge story, that’s hilarious, tragic, insightful, and moving – all at once. Set against the backdrop of a heartless Los Angeles, Tangerine is a complex and touching testament to the power of friendship.