Widows - 2 Stars
Overstuffed, clunky and boring - this film either needed to be heavily cut or turned into a mini-series.
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Heist movies are difficult to do well and unfortunately despite some excellent performances this one isn’t great. The script by Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen has so many primary characters and plot lines that you actually forget certain aspects of the film by the end of it. The problem is, while all of the plots are slightly intertwined they really have no relevance on the primary action. This film could’ve been much shorter and so much more enjoyable had they stuck to the actual heist plot - instead we have a political subplot, a prostitution subplot, various scenes with an aggressive father-son relationship (which apparently was primarily improvised) among others. As you can gather, overstuffed. The writing is also varied, there are some incredible moments of dialogue written, yet some are so cliched and over dramatised it’s disappointing.
Viola Davis is incredible, yet somehow she gets handed the majority of the poor dialogue. She still does a remarkable job though, Elizabeth Debicki is another standout, while Michelle Rodriguez isn’t quite at the standard of the rest of the cast. Daniel Kaluuya is excellent, but again gets very poor dialogue.
The cinematography is also varied, there’s one inexplicable scene inside a car where the audience only sees the car’s exterior. This goes on for a few full minutes and is just annoying - it completely takes the audience out of the story.
Overall a boring film, destroyed by an overstuffed script, but it does have some shining performances.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas