Film Review: A simply weird film

A Simple Favour

Theatrical poster from Feigco Entertainment

 

With all the potential of a great film, A Simple Favor could have been a great watch with strong casting and great cinematography, but it fell just short of that. Yes, it did well on the casting and cinematography fronts, but the plot’s indecisiveness is what served the killing blow.

 

The trailer promised more than it could deliver, showing a secretive thriller with little divulged about lead ladies Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively it seemed slick and professional with all the key traits of an action-packed thriller.

 

The movie was action-packed, but it just didn’t seem to be able to decide on what kind of action it was going to run with.

 

It started out similar to many other classic thrillers, but slowly spiralled out of control as it meandered into comedy and abstract drama, taking you on a rollercoaster ride that progressively got weirder and weirder. The wheels started falling off at this point and the plot lost its believability and understanding, forcing the viewer to surrender to the unknown because just about anything could happen. So much so, that incest, multiple murders, cheating, swearing children and car accidents did occur but by the time the film got to these twists, it felt cheap and almost like a 13-year-old’s fanfiction.

 

Unfortunately, the characters aren’t likeable either. The two main personas are Anna Kendrick’s perfect mother and Blake Lively’s terrible mother. Kendrick’s perfect mother is suffocating and obnoxious, and although her character moves forward and is built on more than others, it doesn’t feel like it ends well.

 

At the close of the film, she doesn’t seem to be able to move away from the person she was at the beginning of the film, which makes her progression feel fake. Lively’s terrible mother, however, tries so hard to be cool to the point that she loses all believability too. She seems to prefer drinking her time away more than raising her only child, but then declares her love for her son and says that the only reason the entire film happened in the first place was because of her son.

 

The side characters are more bearable, and Andrew Rannells’ character even steals the show at the last minute – the best part of the entire film, but too little too late.

 

The acting was brilliant, but you can’t improve a poor script and unlikeable characters, and A Simple Favor is a great example of this. It is a rollercoaster of a film, which will keep you on the edge of your seat, but after half an hour you start to lose your investment. You want to know what happens purely because the ending is so bizarre, the average viewer will not be able to come up with the last five minutes on their own.

 

It’s not the worst film you’ll ever watch, but it’s hard to rave about when it feels so cheap and fake, even though it is set in such a wealthy environment with several opportunities for well-shot scenes. You’ll be left trying to figure out if you got more than you bargained for, or if you’ve been slightly cheated.

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