Friday, July 17, 2015

Lila & Eve: Badly Scripted Bold Women Bypass Black Lives Matter For Black On Black Revenge Scenario

Or rather, Dirty Harriet. A combo female revenge thriller/ballsy babe buddy movie, Lila & Eve finds Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez as the title characters respectively, grieving mothers who set out to blow away the unknown killers who gunned down Lila's teenage son in a drive-by on the inner city streets of Atlanta.

A movie with its heart but not its head in the right place - literally, Lila & Eve gets it right when telegraphing raw emotion and the stinging heartbreak of losing a child. Especially in terms of a society not only teeming with senseless violence, but obsessed with it, both in terms of media hype and a culture hooked on that predominant brand of destructive problem solving solutions.

The Davis/Lopez hookup is psychologically potent and feisty. And not without standout satirical touches, as when Lopez embraces kickass female empowerment as a handy tool that could have helped Tina Turner straighten out Ike. Or Davis dissing a suspicious cop on her tail, when leaving a slim tip for the waitress after interrogating her at the local diner, on the basis that 'you have no idea what women go through.'

But where the film derails has lots to do with a sorely needed reality check and exceedingly poor timing, about the true meaning of justice - from a mass organizing rather than meaningless individual anger mismanagement, retaliatory body count perspective. In other words, bold women badly scripted by male filmmakers, who sadly bypass the Black Lives Matter movement in potent progress right now, with police race slayings on a daily basis.

And instead favoring a cop-out, so to speak, black on black violence, civilian vigilante in collusion with cheering, congratulatory cops scenario. Not to mention that the movie inappropriately opens on the tragic anniversary this July 17th, when the NYPD choked Eric Garner to death a year ago.

Prairie Miller   

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