By: Amanda Guarragi
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”– Dolly Parton
When we think about Dolly Parton, we think of a beautiful, intelligent, witty blonde bombshell with an angelic singing voice. She is a woman who inspires others to be themselves and not care about what others think. Listening to Dolly and taking her advice isn’t enough for many people. They want to become her because she’s sure of herself. Women are under scrutiny for every little thing, and Dolly made sure to uplift women. Women doubt themselves the majority of the time because they are constantly comparing themselves to other people. Unfortunately, the media has become the source of so much unhappiness, and that’s why women like Dolly are the light that shines through for every woman to feel loved and appreciated.
In Seriously Red, a misunderstood redhead named Red (Krew Boylan) lost her job as a real estate agent. She loves Dolly Parton and thinks the best way to honour her is to impersonate her. She attracts many different people that help her rise to the top, eventually making her one of the biggest Dolly Parton impersonators. But when Red’s life as an imitator starts to feel false, she discovers true happiness comes when you’re the best version of yourself. The film is directed by Gracie Otto and she made it feel like a dream when entering the world of Dolly. It was a nice contrast between Red’s reality and her alter-ego of Dolly. Life can be hard when you’re not happy with yourself and how others treat you, so Boylan gave a beautiful performance as Red. It’s always easier to become someone else because you don’t want to accept the reality you’re in.
Red found a home in the drag community even though she wasn’t a drag queen. This film is a reminder that everyone can find a place for whom they want to be because they’re becoming someone else. Red was shining bright in place of someone unattainable, and it’s a false sense of gratification. Afterward, she met a Kenny Rogers (Daniel Webber) impersonator, and things started to change. She knew she was putting on this act, but he did not. He genuinely believed that he was with Dolly because that’s the fantasy. It was never fully knowing who Red was on the inside. And ultimately, that is what hurt her in the end. She realizes that her journey as Red is a story worth telling and to empower other young women who could feel the same way she does.
Seriously Red is a sweet, heartfelt film about accepting who you are and being happy in your skin. The more you embrace who you are, the opinions of others don’t matter. It feels like the second wave of growth after puberty because adults tend to lose themselves a bit more. When you try to build a life for yourself, many obstacles force you to change your perspective, which essentially changes you. In Red’s case, people around her do not take her seriously, which causes the downward spiral into “Dolly Land.” Otto’s direction made Red a star, while Boylan’s performance grounded the reality of her lifestyle that she kept hidden away. To show the glamorous lifestyle of Dolly through Red while still having her past creep through was the perfect balance for this story.
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