Thomas Hardiman’s debut feature film, Medusa Deluxe, is a captivating watch where the style takes over the whodunit mystery. The story lacks luster, but the style somewhat makes up for it. After the elaborate buildup, the ending was a little too flat. Hardiman and cinematographer Robbie Ryan craft every shot to perfection in this one-take film. The camera movement is not jarring to the eyes and swiftly shifts from one subject to another.
One of the most interesting movements in Medusa Deluxe was when the camera was close to a subject, and it gradually moved to a higher angle and a wider frame, shifting its focus to another subject on the first floor. It could have been jarring, but the conversation playing in the background kept the interest going. While the audio revealed a secret, visually, we were looking at the crowd outside the auditorium—the police, the paramedics, and the participants in the competition. Even though, at that moment, we were not following any subject, the movement gave birth to a feeling of anticipation. The camera was searching for its next subject, and so were we, and the audio offered us clues to solve the puzzle. The neon lighting in the indoor shots creates an environment of suspense. The clever sound design deserves mention. The less is more concept works well in terms of the score, and it lights up the scenes magnificently in Medusa Deluxe.
What Is The Film About?
Medusa Deluxe revolves around the death of a hairstylist at a regional hairdressing competition. The victim was scalped, and the abominable act gave birth to various theories among the participants. A bunch of hair stylists trying to solve a murder mystery is comical, and the dialogue adds to the humor. Cleve (Clare Perkins) is the first stylist we are introduced to. A hot-headed perfectionist, Cleve did not shy away from sharing her opinion about the investigation. She was the only participant who continued to work on her model even after the news broke. She was confident about winning the competition, and Mosca’s sudden death left her furious. The competition came to an abrupt end, and so did her dream of winning it.
While the other models gathered and gossiped, Angie was stuck with Cleve as she discussed the history behind her chosen hairstyle. Cleve eventually revealed that she had once attacked Mosca for betraying one of the girls who worked at her salon. Cleve assumed that she would be accused of the murder considering her history with Mosca and police prejudice. But Cleve was not ashamed of smacking Mosca in the head. It was the right thing to do, and she did not mind spilling blood to satisfy her sense of justice. Divine tried to reason with her, but she ultimately concluded that Cleve was a deranged woman capable of scalping someone for revenge. Divine was a believer, and she was not ready to be insulted by Cleve for shutting down her salon after her partner left her. According to Divine, Cleve was the perfect suspect—she had a motive and was demented enough to murder. But the models deduced that it was Kendra who murdered Mosca.
Timba was Mosca’s model, and she discussed her unforgettable experience working with the peculiar hairdresser. She was not impressed by the hairstyle Mosca initially chose for the competition, and she was all the more repulsed by him when he lectured her about a Ghanian hairstyle. She had been tolerating his antics for three hours, but she was too hungry to stay quiet any longer. She stormed out of the dressing room to grab some food, and by the time she returned, he was on the floor with his scalp gone. According to Etsy, Kendra seemed unaffected by Mosca’s death. She deduced that only the murderer could act so cold. While they were curious to find out more about the murder, Kendra seemed disinterested. Not only did Etsy accuse Kendra of murder, but she also believed that Kendra had fixed the competition. She was confident that last year Kendra paid to win, but not everyone in the room believed her.
‘Medusa Deluxe’ Ending Explained: Who Scalped Mosca And Why?
Cleve lost her mind when she heard about Kendra fixing the competition. Cleve attacked her, and Kendra retorted back with a Tresemme hair spray. Rene de-escalated the situation, and Cleve decided to resume working on her model’s hair. Later, Inez questioned Kendra about the fix like a true detective. Kendra defended herself, stating that she was an ambitious hair stylist, but she did not admit to the accusation. While Kendra was initially the suspect, towards the end of Medusa Deluxe, the spotlight was on Gac and Patricio (the security guards). René was stunned when the models told him that Mosca and Gac were together the night before the murder. Gac’s odd behavior was alarming, but no one gave it much thought. The participants started to track Gac’s movement, and in the meantime, an accident occurred. Angie’s hair caught fire while she was smoking. Cleve’s masterpiece was destroyed in seconds, and the paramedics tended to Angie’s wounds. It was Patricio who helped Angie that night—the security guard who had been missing all along.
Mosca’s partner, Angel, was called in for interrogation. René met him in his car parked across the street from the auditorium. It was not easy for René to share the heartbreaking news, but as one of Mosca’s closest friends, he believed he owed it to Angel. After watching the decorative ship from Angie’s hair fall to the ground, Angel realized that somehow he had failed his partner. Angel had to resort to selling hair growth pills to keep afloat. He and Mosca were bankrupt, and every alternate month he traveled to Turkey to get the pills. His small venture was a success, and he was happy knowing that he was helping people feel good about themselves. But things changed when Patricio became a part of the equation. Mosca advised Angel to involve Patricio to sell more pills, but he later realized that Patricio sold recreational drugs as well. Unknowingly, Angel got himself involved in a mess, and he was helpless. Angel was worried that the pill business had somehow resulted in Mosca’s death.
Guc had fallen in love with Mosca the night before the murder. No one ever looked at him the way Mosca did. His life was mostly uneventful, but with Mosca, he felt seen. They kissed that night, and he took what he believed was Herbal Essence. He had no recollection of his whereabouts after taking the pill. The next thing he remembered was finding Mosca’s scalp in his locker. He took more pills and cleaned the locker, only to fall sick within a few hours. Angel learned that Patricio had sold pills to Guc and Mosca. He confronted Patricio, and while the security guard admitted to selling pills, he denied murdering Mosca. Mosca was diabetic, and Angel assumed that the drug worsened his condition.
During Medusa Deluxe‘s ending, we find out that Mosca died a natural death. Timba mentioned that the last time she saw Mosca’s face, he looked sick. By the time she left the room, Mosca was on the floor. Guc had heard all about the model’s beautiful hair from Mosca the previous night, and he waited outside the room to see the end result. When the model left, he entered the dressing room. Mosca tried to reach him, but he collapsed on the chair, and his body stumbled to the floor. Guc decided to lie beside Mosca to comfort him and proceeded to scalp him. He assumed that Mosca would have wanted him to keep his hair alive. Guc believed that since Mosca was so obsessed with hair, it must be saved and taken care of even after his death. Mosca was the only person who appreciated Guc, albeit briefly, and maybe that was his way of keeping Mosca close. Clearly, Guc was not a stable man, and the drugs made it worse. While Guc’s timeline might be a little messed up, in the end, he admitted to scalping Mosca.
A year passed, and the competition was organized in the same auditorium. Divine had incorporated a choir performance as well. After that night, she felt a deeper connection with the higher power. Angel returned Pablo to his birth mother after Mosca’s death. Cleve finally started seeing a therapist and was trying to bring her anger under control. Angel had a tough time coping with the loss, but he showed up at the competition and planned on delivering a speech in Mosca’s memory.