When I first saw the trailer for Widows, I was immediately excited. Strong cast AND Steve McQueen directing it? I knew this was a sure win, so I patiently waited for it.
Here I am now, many months later, in the theater after the film just ended, feeling disappointed. So disappointed in McQueen, really, because it is his film. After so many great movies, you give us this? Let me tell you what went wrong, in my opinion.
OK, I admit, the idea of having the widows of some robbers having the need to rob something themselves in order to survive was pretty cool. But that’s where the good ended. The rest of the script was unoriginal and lazy: the all-american guy fighting the black guys; the poor Mexicana who needs to survive; the black woman who has two jobs; the pitiful polish girl who sells herself; the reverend who’s not actually a man of god, but of money and influence. Really? Haven’t we seen this before? Viola Davis’ storyline was the only interesting one, and even with her, I felt she, as a character, was under-developed.
The storyline dragged until the actual robbery took place. And when it did, it was over in 2 minutes, with only one hiccup. And the ending was again, rushed and I felt there were so many loose ends. With the characters, with the storyline, with everything really. It was a mess. For me, it felt like Steve McQueen just threw all the characters on the story board, created context for an hour and a half, made a climax and then said “OK, I’m done, bye!”
The direction was also messy. The only thing that stuck to me were the blurred shots that were not very artistic or pretty to look at. God, I remember seeing Hunger and Shame and thinking “wow, this is amazing”. This film, Widows, certainly wasn’t that. A part of me wonders what happened to McQueen, when did he get so sloppy, but the other just doesn’t care.
The only thing that saved it for me was the acting. I really can’t fault anyone here. Surprisingly, my least favorite of the bunch was Viola Davis, although she did great, too. My favorites were Elizabeth Debicki and Daniel Kaluuya. The dude, especially, is creepy (I love the scene were he makes the guys rap and then gets so close to them in order to intimidate them).
In conclusion, as you probably noticed, I did not like this movie. I suggest you not waste 2 hours and 15 minutes and 20-30$ on it. Wait for it on Netflix or HBO GO or something, if you must. It’s not worth it.