“Widows” stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and Cynthia Erivo. Released on November 16, 2018, the film has a group of women attempting to pull off a heist after their husbands are killed off.
The film is directed by Steve McQueen, who also directed “Hunger”, “Shame” and “12 Years a Slave”. It is based on the 1983 British television show of the same name created by Lynda La Plante. Five years after earning a Best Picture win for “12 Years a Slave”, British film director Steve McQueen returns to the director’s chair to deliver us a female-led heist thriller, and no, it is not a follow-up to “Ocean’s 8”. I was originally planning on seeing this film later, but the other two films that I planned on reviewing now were quite packed. So, consider this my “Plan B”. I wasn’t very familiar with the 1980s show the film is based on, so as usual, I will be looking at it as its own film.
The film’s plot follows a similar premise that was introduced in the source material: four women plan a heist when their criminal husbands get killed off during a robbery. This story does have the words “ordinary heist thriller” written all over it, but it’s actually a character-driven film that’s less on the thrills and more on the drama. Does it hurt the film overall? Well, it depends on what you’re expecting out of it. If you’re expecting it to be a tension-filled, action-packed heist movie like “The Italian Job”, then yeah, it kind of does. For me, personally, I think it’s a well-made drama that may had a few missed opportunities, such as its topics and the amount of tension, but offered enough star power and substance to drive past its sub-genre formula. Ranging from the extremely talented Viola Davis to the undeniable Daniel Kaluuya, the cast never wasted their opportunities to show off their dynamic performances. Steve McQueen did a great job at giving these actors a chance to shine. Not only that, but his unique style of filmmaking offered some pretty impressive moments that helped the film stand out compared to the other modern heist thrillers. Going back to the story, the film’s build-up to the heist itself did feel a bit slower than I thought it would be, but I was never bored of watching these characters deal with the loss of their husbands and pull off a dangerous heist. There’s also this big twist that prevented the film from following its simplistic path, but that is something you should see for yourself.
Overall, “Widows” fell a bit short when it comes to the tension and the story’s topics, but for what it’s supposed to be, it’s a solid heist drama that relies on both substance and style. This is another hit for Steve McQueen due to the film’s incredible cast and his suitable sense of direction. I wish I could talk more in-depth about this film, but this is one of those times where I don’t have that much to talk about. Either that, or I just don’t have enough energy to talk some more. Probably both. If you like the actors that are shown in the film and if you happen to like heist movies that are more dramatic than action-packed, then this film might be for you.
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