Fresh off the major success of superhero motion picture Captain Marvel, Brie Larson does not only star in Unicorn Store but also directs the film which marks her directorial debut. The film follows Kit (Larson) moving back in with her parents after flunking art school. Feeling demotivated, Kit spends the entire day being unproductive as she aimlessly switches through channels until an infomercial about a job at a temp agency draws her attention. It was not until later that she has an epiphany to apply for the position from the commercial in an attempt to get her life back on track, now that the dust has settled down. The job essentially is the mundane run-of-the-mill white-collar work with a 9-to-5 routine yet just when things seems bleak for Kit – she begins to receive mysterious letters inviting her to “The Store”, a place that sells “what you need”. She eventually goes to the store on a limb where she meets the eccentric, “The Salesman” played by Samuel L. Jackson who offers her childhood fulfilment of owning a unicorn. Initially skeptical but swayed by the actuality of possessing a unicorn and the lifelong love that comes with it, Kit decides that the unicorn is the answer to her monotonous life. However, first she needs to prove herself worthy to deserve the care and love from the mystical creature and thus embarks on a journey filled with self-discovery to fulfil the tasks that is required of her to own the prized possession.
Source: Kit and The Salesman
The reasoning behind Kit’s heavy fixation on unicorns is stemmed from the sole fact that the thought of the creatures has provided her comfort throughout her childhood given that she is quite the oddball and sticks out like a sore thumb amongst her contemporaries. What is more is that she doesn’t believe anyone could actually love her which is why unicorns is a vital aspect of her life. In return for her care, they gave her everlasting love and a glimpse of hope in dire times of need even if it was merely a toy unicorn, but it reassured her that eventually everything will be peachy keen. All of us certainly possesses something that comforts us, and in Kit’s case, it just so happens to be a unicorn. The unicorn acts as a security blanket, if you will. Across the span of the film, Kit can be seen refusing to conform to the normative world and this is pretty obvious since she firmly believes in the existence of unicorns despite being an adult. It just goes to show while others around her have fully grown up, she never truly lost her childish spirit.
Source: Kit in her element
Along the way, Kit befriends Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), an employee at a hardware store who lends a helping hand in building a stable for the unicorn which was one of the tasks for her to execute. The two instantly become a close-knit pair, allowing Kit to grasp the idea of companionship, that has been absent for the most part of her life. Also, in the process, she manages to fix the relationship with her parents who never genuinely understood Kit as a person, let alone as a daughter. The lessons she picks up en route of making arrangements for her beloved creature allowed her to view her life at a different perspective where once she was blind but now able to see the finer things in life. Essentially, Unicorn Store is about caring for yourself as if you would for those you love, and in this instance, a unicorn. She ultimately learns to love herself and unapologetically expresses herself for what she likes.
Source: Virgil and Kit
As we grow up and grow old, we tend to lose sight of who we are and what once was shiny in our life is now rusted simply due to our own negligence. We all have a little bit of Kit inside of us – a little self-doubt, a little drive but heaps of love to shower the world with but none for ourselves. These moments feel universal, however, contrary to popular belief, the grass is most definitely greener where you care to water it. There are some parts in us that feel the need to hold onto our childhood dreams and the fantasies we once had because it made us feel truly alive but evidently as the year passes, these dreams are bludgeoned in due course all thanks to adulting. Nonetheless, Unicorn Store in some ways ignites the spark in you that has been dimmed for a while now as the film teaches us to embrace those little quirks about us. The film serves as a reminder or better yet, a love letter, to our younger carefree self who once believed in the impossible things. Yet, as a viewer, we are never sure whether Kit should be seeking help if all of this turns out to be a cynical delusion or we are inclined to believe unicorns actually exists as we open the Pandora’s box of endless possibilities from our childhood. Now, I won’t spoil the ending on whether or not Kit gets her unicorn because words simply do not serve justice to the ambiguity in the film or the eventual culmination and conclusion to the story. Alas, maybe this movie is not your cup of tea but there is no denying that we’re all looking for happiness and maybe if we’re lucky, we can just buy it in a store. Now, wouldn’t that be swell?
Source: The Verge