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article imageReview: ‘Widows’ is an electrifying narrative grounded in the real world Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Nov 17, 2018 in Entertainment
‘Widows’ is a thrilling movie that gains audience’s support by depicting genuine heroines preparing to take extreme measures to regain control of their lives.
Heist movies have been known to come in all shapes and sizes. The amount of the plunder, the number of participants, the complexity of the plan and, more recently, the gender of the thieves are all variables with which storytellers have the freedom to play. There have been a number of similar plots rehashed in different ways over the years, but it’s always notable when something new is brought to a longstanding genre. Widows is that film, finding a unique narrative to share with audiences eager for something new.
Harry (Liam Neeson) has been pulling jobs with the same guys for a long time. But their last heist went terribly wrong and they were all killed. Unfortunately, Harry owed some dangerous people a lot of money and now they expect his wife, Veronica (Viola Davis), to pay his debt. Without any other options, she recruits the other widows so they can pull off their husbands’ last robbery, using the plans she found in Harry’s belongings. These women are not even remotely criminal, but they’ve been backed into a corner and are desperate to escape by any means necessary.
This is a dark drama that shows ordinary, genuine women in an extraordinary situation. They’ve been underestimated their entire lives and they’re finally going to use that to their advantage. With Harry’s detailed plans as their guide, they set out to get the equipment they’ll require, including guns and transportation, and do reconnaissance to limit the potential for surprises and, more importantly, getting caught. Veronica exudes confidence, but inside she’s scared and insecure — feelings she only reveals when she’s alone for fear of losing face in front of the other women or her newfound enemies. Consequently, Davis’ performance is raw, drawing viewers in with her fierce authenticity.
The other women are played by Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo. Each of their situations are unique, but they collectively realize they’ve always relied on their husbands or waited for things to improve themselves. Now, they are taking their fates into their own hands. Each woman is strong and resourceful, gradually gaining confidence as the big day draws near. Rodriguez is a mother whose world was destroyed by her husband’s death. Debicki was a kept woman who never had to do anything and now finds she has nothing. Erivo can barely make ends meet and would do anything to take the pressure off. Each actress is perfectly suited to her role, displaying a respect for each other that slowly supplants their distrust.
Co-writer/director Steve McQueen and co-writer Gillian Flynn create a thrilling picture that offsets its one element of predictability with a compelling narrative that keeps everyone on their toes. Moreover, audiences will find themselves fully invested in the heroines at its centre and hoping for their criminal success.
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki
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