What it's about:
Lila, a grief-stricken mother reeling from her son's murder, attends a support group where she meets Eve, who urges her to take matters into her own hands to track down her son's killers. They soon embark on a journey of revenge, but also recovery.
What we thought:
It’s not often that we see female leads embark on a quest for revenge, but in Lila and Eve, Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez are a force to be reckoned with.
When Lila’s (Viola Davis) eldest son, Stephon (Aml Ameen) is 'accidentally' killed in a drive by shooting she is paralysed by her grief. She dopes herself on medication to numb the pain and is unable to care for her younger son Justin (Ron Caldwell).
To help her through her stages of grief she joins a support group for mothers who have lost children due to gang violence. The support’s group passive approach to dealing with the loss of a child is not what Lila needs, they encourage the moms, ‘to get a hobby’ to keep themselves busy.
Lila meets Eve (Jennifer Lopez) who is having none of that get a hobby crap. What both her and Lila really want is justice and to stop feeling hopeless and helpless.
When Lila goes to the police station to find out about her son’s case the Detective Holliston (Shea Whigham) has no updates, he narrows it down to just another unsolved turf war death. This is a particularly loaded scene, the camera pans into an office to the murder board of a white cheerleader and the extensive investigation into her death that is being done.
This elevates Lila’s resolve for justice, but there’s a line thin between justice and revenge. With smart talking, bad ass Eve on her side the pair set out to find who was responsible for her son’s death.
For two women who have absolutely no investigative experience they happen to track down those responsible very quickly. As they get closer to the kingpin responsible the body count rises.
There’s a lot going on here and I really don’t want to reveal too much of the plot.
While on the surface this might be a revenge action thriller there are important social themes being explored.
These moms story is particularly touching because the very same thing is happening in our ‘townships.’ Communities are being held hostage by gang violence and many innocent victims have been caught in the crossfire. Loved ones deaths end up being unsolved murders as the police force either do not have the manpower or it is just not a priority for them.
And as a result vigilante justice is on the rise. People are tired of feeling hopeless and helpless and the moral compass gets skewed.
Viola Davis is amazing in her portrayal as a grieving mom, her performance is powerful! She is amazing in portraying characters who explore the grey area between right and wrong. She’s fighting an internal anguish between doing the right thing and wanting the pain and helplessness to end.
Jennifer Lopez takes on a different role and she is brilliant. She’s fast talking, smart mouthed and hard. She’s that little devil on your shoulder urging Viola to pull the trigger, to kill. She appears to be unreal at instances and shows remorse for the murders they commit and there’s a plot reveal that ties it all up.
Fuelled by Viola’s powerhouse performance this is a must watch story of a mother’s grief and hopelessness and the need for justice at any cost.
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