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A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor: The Return of Film Noir

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  • Anna KendrickBlake Lively...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • Paul Feig
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Cairo 360
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A Simple Favor: The Return of Film Noir

You walk past the street where your grandmother used to live and see the small old candy store, where you spent all your allowance. You go in and you recognise your favourite candy instantly. You buy a box and as you taste the first one you realise how good this still is, how much you miss it, and wonder how on earth you’ve ever lived without it. When you finally see a noir film after so much time, you can tell the cynical, drama, and crime mystery combo is a winner even if A Simple Favor has its flaws.

A Simple Favor follows an unlikely friendship that sprung between nerdy naïve mum with a vlog, Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) and fashionista in-your-face career powerhouse mum, Emily (Blake Lively). But after Emily goes missing, Stephanie realises she did not know her friend at all and starts uncovering the horrible past of the woman she knew as Emily.

Even if some audience members can guess some of the fore coming events, the film offers several twists and turns that keep audiences interested until the very end.

The effect of the plot twists could have been more prominent if the film was not a total of 116 minutes; the runtime does not give audiences enough time to speculate, which is an advantage, but it also gave them more than enough time to actually figure out what is to come.

Considering this is a noir film, a genre that should definitely be tackled more, Emily’s past was not handled in the dark manner it should be considering its depravity. The scene where the dark story was being told did not have the right colour scheme, nor was it handled in the plot as the dark story it is. This took away a lot from its effect on audiences and the overall reaction to the film. It seemed almost like someone was just remembering something in an everyday comedy film.

There were several other instances when the film was a little too much comedy for the noir genre, especially in its beginning with Anna Kendrick’s performance as the nerdy character. There was an intriguing contrast between the comedy-like beginning before Emily went missing and the truly noir part when she did but, again the comedy was a tad too much and took away from the film.

As for the acting, Anna Kendrick fit her nerdy mum role perfectly, and was able to portray that effortlessly, but it was when she turns into a toughie that matters get out of hand; especially since the audience does not really get to see the arc of the character throughout the film. Blake Lively proved she is definitely not too vanilla to play the badass character and was able to convince the audience she is the deranged woman her character embodies. The duo have chemistry, it isn’t pizza and mozzarella but it also isn’t pizza and pineapple.

If you like cynical jokes, enjoy the uncovering of dark history, and want to see a badass version of Blake Lively, this is definitely worth the watch.

Like This? Try

Sunset Boulevard (1950), Chinatown (1974), The Big Sleep (1946), Gone Girl (2014). 

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