Mini Film Review – Antebellum

Yesterday I watched Antebellum; and it was alright! Directed by Gerard Bush, and Christopher Renz, and starring Janelle Monáe, Eric Lange, and Jena Malone; Antebellum is a thriller about a successful writer who finds suddenly herself trapped on an American Civil War Slave Plantation! Antebellum has a really good idea. It’s sort of like Westworld to some degree as it’s focused on this idea of people going back in time to relive life in the past. But in this case instead of doing it out of fun, it’s done out of raw human desire for control, control over others; to which the film does to a shockingly and horrifically detailed level of brutality. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where this film’s good points end, as a really good idea, can only live to it’s full potential, if it’s delivery and execution are on the same level! The film starts off and ends strongly, creating lasting imagery, however the bits in-between are held back by an unsympathetic cast. Yes, I know we’re not supposed to root for the villains, but our hero is so badly set-up, that when you discover who she really is, you just don’t care! The film gets going at a good pace, but then half-way through, when we get to the ‘How did I get here moment?’; which just slows the whole film down with some rather cliched and confusing plot. It would have made more sense if this was right at the start of the film, and then wove more into the story, to suggest maybe she has flown back in time. Alternatively, we could have not had this part, allowing the film to continue it’s good pace, but add strange little subtleties here and there, and finish with a huge twist, instead of an obvious/cliched twist. It’s a real shame really as it’s a really good idea, but just disappointingly fails to deliver and reach it’s great potential!

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