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Review: Mixed message undercuts action and music of ‘Days of Power’

Jenny Hutton in a scene from the movie "Days of Power."

If writer-producer Michel Grey and director Jason Pagnoni truly wanted to shed light on animal abuse, there was probably a more direct, effective way than within the bounds of such a frantic and dispiriting thriller as “Days of Power.”

That’s not to say this cautionary tale of an international pop star called Milow the Girl (Jenny Hutton), who’s held captive along with several bandmates (Robert Venable, Alyssa Lee Lewis, Lara Wolf) by a pair of demented backwoods puppy-mill henchmen (Paul Lewis, Tom Trietley), is without its tense and vivid moments. It’s an often wild ride with some pretty decent music.

But the messaging about the film’s “animal sanctuary,” which is owned by a creepy-weird couple (Missy Grynkiewicz, Mark Riccadonna) with a wary child (Emily Grace Ranieri), is eclipsed by Milow and company’s violent, traumatic confinement and reprisal.

If the human victims’ plight here is an allegorical take on the dogs’ suffering, the filmmakers don’t sufficiently square that link, much less provide an adequate picture of how puppy mills actually operate — even if the movie is “based on true events.”

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Unnerving camerawork, editing and sound design rule this nightmarish, nonlinear effort which features credible glimpses into the world of celebrity, if not the music business itself. But dialogue, characterizations and acting (Eric Roberts has a negligible cameo) feel decidedly secondary to the film’s more jarring visceral elements.

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‘Days of Power’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood; also on VOD

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