Pre-pandemic, I remember seeing trailers for this in the theater and thought it looked intriguing. Couldn’t really decipher what the film was going to be about based on it. I’m glad it was released digitally, more studios should just be doing that at this point. Anyways, I had the opportunity to check it out and while I do admire the concept I didn’t think the film leaves the impression that it wanted to. However, I will see the lead performance from Janelle Monae is jut great and I’d love to see her more in film.
The film is going to be really hard to describe without giving away key plot points so I’ll keep it minimum. Lets just describe it as a young slave who experiences truly horrible atrocities on a plantation and tries to devise ways to escape her situation. Though his character is pretty despicable in this, I’m glad to see Jack Huston get work as he was probably my favorite part of Boardwalk Empire.
As mentioned earlier the film fails to live up to the potential it creates. Midway, through you are truly intrigued with what is going on and even the twist at the end is pretty good. I’m not bothered by shocking twists and reveals if its done well and serves the plot well. I feel like there needed to be more substance in this film to really warrant its existence. It does well to build up its atmosphere and show how brutal Plantation’s were and the treatment slaves receive but it doesn’t act well on its premise.
The middle section feels out of place and while its supposed to feel that way I suppose, it doesn’t really connect the passages and definitely could have been written better. It also drags and all around adds to the unevenness of a film that could have made a real point but doesn’t. Still, Janelle Monae is really good in this and really increases how watchable it is. She needs to get more work because she has knocked it out of the park in every role shes done. Overall, this will divide and polarize. There are enjoyable aspects but it feels so flawed because you know how good it could have been.