Sunday, May 7, 2017

Movie review: Black Snake Moan

When a God-fearing bluesman finds a beaten, half-naked young woman laying on a country road he brings her into his home knowing he has to help. Little does he know a history of abuse has turned her into a psychotic nymphomaniac.

Samuel L. Jackson (Lazarus), Christina Ricci (Rae), Justin Timberlake (Ronnie), S. Epatha Merkerson (Angela), John Cothran (Reverend), David Banner (Tehronne), Michael Raymond-James (Gill), Adriane Lenox (Rose).

Black Snake Moan begins with a bit of plot setup before jumping to the main plot, bringing characters into play as the film moves along. Once things get moving a bit Rae's twisted psychology continues to grow. Blended with the desire of Lazarus to help her, it soon becomes a challenge to tell who has bigger problems. Throw in some action, a bit of related drama, a touch of racism, and you have a story with surprising depth that moves along well while holding audience interest at every turn.

Acting was very well done. Ricci put forth a performance that was as disturbing as it must have been challenging. And if you enjoy Ricci, you see a LOT of her in this one. Jackson also did well and fit with Ricci surprisingly well. Timberlake wasn't much more than a placeholder, while Merkerson, Cothran and the remainder of the supporting cast did well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done with good use of natural scenery. Action scenes were mild but good. Dialogue was enjoyable with nice depth and conveyance of the psychological issues at work. Sound and soundtrack were enjoyable with some nice blues tunes throughout.

Black Snake Moan is disturbing on a few levels, the least of which is the representation of an abused woman. Yet, the story is strangely entertaining on several levels. Fans of intense psychological or abuse drama should enjoy this one while many others will be offended and/or disgusted by the nudity and sexuality.

Be warned, this one has a fair amount of nudity, some disturbing sexuality and psychology, violence, blood, foul language, smoking, drinking, and expressions of abuse. Adults only for this one.

Released: 2007
Reviewed: 4.14.17
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Music

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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