Antebellum





22-10-20



"It is easily the worst film of 2020 to date (...) An exploitative and superficial film that wastes a Janelle Monáe whose role suffocates her voice."

Robert Daniels: Polygon


"It is a pity that the result is superficial, because it is more concerned with expressing a powerful idea than with delving into the subject in a significant way."

Jourdain Searles: The Hollywood Reporter


"It stumbles on its own twists (...) A skilful and provocative film about America's original sin horror that is unable to develop its idea."


David Ehrlich: Indiewire


"The worst film of 2020"? Uhmm, I doubt it. "The result is superficial"? Maybe. "Unable to develop its idea"? I'm not sure about that. But what I can understand is why the debut of the directors Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz, has caused so many mixed reviews and above all, so much controversy.



Click on the image below to access to the official trailer of "Antebellum"





First, is that you have already seen this story (and not too long ago) and if only I give you the name of the movie in question, it would completely ruin you the "surprise". The fun fact is that this same movie was accused of the same things that "Antebellum" is accused of, of being promoted as a movie that it really is not.


Which is, creating "false expectations" in an audience that was expecting something very similar to the work of Jordan Peele and mostly because it was promoted with the phrase: "From the producers of" Get Out "and" Us ". Shoes that are quite large to fill, and actually are very far from the essence of "Antebellum" and what is trying to "denounce."


Secondly, because many of the criticisms are based on the fact that it treats superficially, a delicate subject as slavery. But to be honest, this is not the central theme of the story. It's more the basis that the directors chose to talk about how these acts have never disappeared from Nortemarica's psyche and the critical steps of a confrontation that had been in the background for years but which today is more palpable than ever.


So what is the problem? And it is definitely the tone of the film, how they decided not to create unique characters with their own personalities, more consistent with the stories we are used to consuming today. Instead, use stereotypes/clichés and disguise them as characters. Where blacks are the good ones and say "I love you" after every two sentences and whites are the bad ones without any sense of humanity.


A bold decision in these times of polarization that we live in and more so in Trump's America because this type of "speeches" usually collide with the most closed minds. There is no way to sympathize with any of these characters who have no identity, since we are not seeing individuals, but perhaps a race that has been generalized and dehumanized for so many years.


I am not saying that it was the correct way to approach it, much less that it did not make an impact on me. Still, it is that more than half of the film is spent wondering what you see, trying to figure out what is happening and why the characters behave or speak like that. While a layer, almost "dreamy "covers all the footage, maybe not what you expected to find after watching the trailer, but definitely the way they chose to tell this story.


Weird and widely satisfying at times, especially in those final minutes that take your breath away without using words, only through the images, to show you the real purpose of all this. Something that perhaps will come too late for some viewers who will find it out of place after been "lost" for so long in what could have been a bottomless pit full of meaning but which in the end was just the seashore.