Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Widows

Reviews - Widows

Widows

Reviewed By Chris Coombes

Widows
Widows
Last Sunday's film was 'Widows' – a heist movie that was very different from the usual male-dominated, car-chase spectacle. 'Widows' is directed by Steve McQueen and so it was beautiful and surprising and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. It was based on the Lynda La Plante TV programme, and it did the series proud. The cast is extremely strong with a particularly riveting performance by Viola Davis, and the musical score was designed to ensure a heightened sense of tension and fear when needed (most of the time).

The story is about 4 widows of gangsters who take up, they think, where there husbands left off in planning and executing a daring robbery. They do this in order to survive in the vicious and dangerous world that they live in through no fault of their own (other than they had married, and in most cases had children with, dangerous men – although we quickly forgive them for that as we watch them deal with their predicaments). The heist they take on is linked to corporate and political corruption that affects them and others in their neighbourhoods – the corruption seems all-embracing and very distressing.

The plot is flawed at times. Implausible things happen; impossible odds are overcome but this does not in any way detract from the sheer watchability of this film.

It is fantastic and unusual (in film-land) to watch a group of strong women decide not to be victims but instead to do what they feel they have to and do it well. The film is not afraid to show women involved in and perpetrating acts of violence, but there is also room in the story for us to understand the abuse they themselves have been exposed to, and the grief they have had to come to terms with. At the end of the widows' exploits there is a sense of gentle reconciliation enabling us to leave the cinema calmly after what was quite a roller-coaster ride.

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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