Based on the original British TV series "Widows" (1983), Director Steve McQueen does an excellent job guiding the cast through this tale of a heist gone bad. I must start off by saying that McQueen is a visionary director that focuses on the strengths of each actor on the project to get the most out of every character in the story. He was very successful doing this in "12 Years a Slave" (2013) starring the awe-inspiring and very gifted actors, Lupita Nyong'o & Chiwetel Ejiofor. He does it here again with "Widows" (2018).
This is the tale of a group of women left with a heavy debt after their career criminal husbands meet an untimely demise during a botched heist. In this explosive all-star cast which also stars Daniel Keluuya ("Black Panther" 2018) and Brian Tyree Henry (ATL on FX) we are treated with a couple of different storylines which make for an interesting chain of events.
Viola Davis, "Widows" (2018)
We have a Politician Son, Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) and father, Tom Mulligan (Robert Duvall) maneuvering through a strained relationship during a campaign run against chicago crime boss Jamal Manning.
The Manning brothers, Jamal and Jatemme (Henry and Kaluuya), represent a balanced mixture of corruption and politics while campaigning for alderman of a Southside precinct. Kaluuya and Henry deliver excellence in these subtle yet effective performances of two brothers who came up in Chicago's rough Southside to gain a footing in the political arena while simultaneously running the crime in that area.
The real meat of the story centers around Mrs. Viola Davis' character, Veronica Rawlins. Veronica is left distraught and devastated after her husband Harry is killed in an accident during a heist that went wrong. To add insult to the sustained emotional injury here she is approached by Jamal Manning. Jamal informs her that Harry stole $2 million from him and she is now responsible for retrieving said monies. What's a girl to do? Round up the spouses of Harry's crew and make an attempt at retrieving Jamal's funds. The heist that Veronica will take charge of is worth a cool $5 million. Jamal would get his cut and the ladies can split the rest three ways. Of course things are never that easy and we are given a very emotional and action packed journey for a little over two hours.
The strength of "Widows" (2018) centers around Davis', Veronica Rawlins performance. This character finds herself wounded in fear and confusion while still emerging as a leader. Davis' performance, like several others on her resume, is very pleasing. There is a level of depth and complication to her character without feeling overly done.
Daniel Kaluuya & Brian Tyree Henry, "Widows" (2018)
The pacing was a little slower than I expected, but good character development requires this most times. For me, McQueen's direction and screenplay engineering, coupled with tight editing are like a delicious plate of Thanksgiving dinner. I am a camera guy so the Cinematography was my absolute favorite part of the film. The camera helps tell the story through very interesting and sometimes odd angled shots. The score feels fresh and keeps us company during the ride and the performances of the cast, particularly Davis, Debicki, Henry and Kaluuya are mesmerizing to say the least.
"Widows" (2018) received it's wide-release on Friday November 16,2018. If you haven't had the opportunity to see it, go check it out during the Holiday break. Viola and Steve will be very happy if you do!
...up next will be my review on Steven Caple Jr.'s "Creed II" (2018) starring Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson! Stayed Tune