Antebellum Movie Review

Antebellum Movie Review
Writing about "Antebellum" is tricky, and if you see the movie you'll know why. This feature debut by writer-directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz is certainly ambitious, thoughtful, and intriguing, despite being plagued by some first-time filmmaker hiccups. That can happen when a filmmaker tries to establish their name off something as ambitious as "Antebellum;" but regardless of some missteps, the movie shows promise for two new feature directors.
The movie opens in a stunning long take, gliding carefully through a cotton field where enslaved individuals are brutally put to work by those watching over them. Eden (Janelle Monáe) seems to be the leader, of sorts, willing to risk everything to escape the horrifying entrapment they are under. People come to her for ideas of how to flee, and while she is carefully and strategically planning, she knows she can't rush.

"Antebellum" throws a curveball at the viewer, which is being advertised, but won't be mentioned here. Though most of "Antebellum" feels a bit predictable in the way it sets up its story and frames it, it becomes clear that the movie is about the message and not the twists. This isn't the first film to use the horror genre to discuss the Black experience, and while "Antebellum" doesn't offer a ton of surprises from its story, it successfully continues conversations that must be had.

Familiar faces pop up throughout the movie, including Jena Malone, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, and Jack Houston, but the movie fully belongs to Monáe's committed, layered, and fierce performance. Monáe just started appearing in films a few years ago, turning in strong work in "Moonlight" and "Hidden Figures." Her small but impactful supporting performance in the Best Picture winner "Moonlight" was warm and empathetic, and "Hidden Figures," a Best Picture nominee that year, showed that she can steal a scene right out from under seasoned performers like Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. She has popped up in other films as well, but "Antebellum" is her first true lead and it shows that she deserves to carry her own movies. It's a great, tricky performance and Monáe is more than up to the challenge.

Any of "Antebellum's" narrative shortcomings are outweighed by expert craftmanship. The cinematography by Pedro Luque captures haunting sunsets on the long and awful days for these characters through a melancholic lens. He shoots a lot of the plantation scenes wide, which allows us to grasp the number of people who have been put in this horrifying situation. The music by Roman GianArthur and Nate Wonder escalates the tension - especially in the opening - through melodic hypnosis.

"Antebelleum" just happened to be next in line when studios began shuffling their releases amid the pandemic. It was originally supposed to play theaters in the spring, then it was pushed to late summer and finally settled into a mid-September PVOD release. Like most movies, it's meant to be experienced with an audience in a theater, but the filmmakers and studio knew that the film's message is one that needs to be heard now. While imperfect, as most movies are, "Antebellum" still offers a lot to chew on.

"Antebellum" will debut on PVOD starting Sept. 18, 2020.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Antebellum Movie Review Antebellum Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, September 06, 2020 Rating:


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