Directed by Steve McQueen (Shame 2011); starring Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson and Robert Duvall, Widows is without a doubt very well acted and devoid of any dull moments. There are one or two unexpected turns I enjoyed and everyone performs very well in McQueen’s crime / thriller, a story about four women in need of a way to survive after their husbands’ criminal activities leave them in massive debt.
I’ll start by say that I generally appreciate the quality in movies where everything isn’t overly explained. I like moments where the audience is trusted to connect the dots and make sense of things. Widows is a movie that has a handful of such moments which are well executed. Yet, I’d also say that the ending aside, McQueen’s film feels oddly incomplete somehow.
The feeling of incompleteness comes first from not knowing enough of the back story of some of the characters. We get to know a fair amount about a few key players but I was certainly left wanting when it came to Cynthia Erivo’s very intriguing Belle, for example.
There are also questions I had pertaining to one or two of the dead bodies and how they were disposed of. You may be reading this and be thinking: ‘The brown notebook, silly!’ And you wouldn’t be wrong by saying that. Nevertheless, I still wanted to be fully convinced by how the story played out especially when it came to the widows’ turn to criminality. Unfortunately, even though I came close to being convinced, I just wasn’t – not completely.
It may may well be that I’ve seen far too many television crime dramas / thrillers that show just the right amount in order for me to buy a story wholeheartedly. Either way I’m now of the mind that Widows may have been better suited to a miniseries format. That way it wouldn’t feel quite so heavily edited and somehow incomplete. There’d certainly be more time for me to get to know a greater number of the characters in a more satisfying way.
Every one performs well but my favourite performance in Widows is delivered by Farrell. I really enjoyed watching his super entitled politician’s son character and listening to what sounded like a very convincing accent. Elizabeth Debicki also delivered some fun turns I wanted more of.
Overall, Widows may not be my favourite McQueen movie but it definitely isn’t bad either. Perhaps you’ll find that it couldn’t possibly be more complete.
Happy Film Loving