Found this film on Vudu yesterday and I was excited to see it. I had found this interesting when seeing the trailers before the global pandemic and the content seems to be right in line with the current issues facing the nation.
Unfortunately, despite a premise filled with potential and intrigue, Antebellum failed to cash in on it and left me feeling underwhelmed.
The film, which boasts a prospective twist in the movie, truly spoiled that for anyone who had seen that aforementioned trailer. It was a major spoiler for what could have been a truly mind blowing moment.
Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself in a nightmarish reality, showing what life was like on plantations for slaves. This world seems to be more than what it appears, however.
Seriously, one of the main issues this film faces is the set up and execution of the film’s main framing device. It makes no sense and does not even give the audience an idea of what is happening or how it may be happening. When the entire second half of the film depends on it, you can’t just cast it off as unimportant. There has to be some kind of clear message about the situation you are in.
Janelle Monáe is excellent here though. She certainly throws herself into the role, despite the fact that I believe much of the script let her down. There were some imagery that showed the horrors of slavery but the overall narrative just did not come together as the film may had hoped.
In the end, Antebellum is an exercise of good ideas versus poor execution. The performances in the film are solid to outstanding, but the overall concept is just not pulled together to make the story comprehensible. The final act is just ridiculous and not worthy of the set up.