Black Snake Moan

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Christina Ricci, Justin Timberlake, S Epatha Merkerson
Director: Craig Brewer

Addiction comes in many forms, such as sex or drugs. It’s usually a way to escape reality and it ties you down with no means of escape, leaving you with only two options: you either choose to succumb or you fight to beat it.

And so it is for Rae, our sassy, southern, shell of a belle, who has taken the term riding a bit too literally gaining her a nasty reputation with all but one love struck pup of a man who actually cares for her. On the flip side we have Lazarus, a God fearing, blues man, whose heart has been broken so badly he can hardly make sense of anything at all. Then in a wonderfully weird twist of fate these two broken souls are thrust together. After avoiding her wily advances Lazarus decides to straighten out Rae and get her to mend her ways. All well and good but the methods he chooses to sort her out with prove to be just as harsh as her addiction.

Jackson drives home his hard-bitten, blues character with a tenacity last seen as a drug addict in JUNGLE FEVER, perfectly complementing Ricci’s svelte, sexy but ultimately extremely damaged temptress with an itch. She balances the tragic fragility, sleaziness and vulnerability of a victim to perfection. The supporting performance from Justin ‘trouser snake’ Timberlake is adequate, not really fantastic but actually not that bad either.

With some sly humour, tragic drama and singing, or should I say some heavy blues, BLACK SNAKE MOAN is definitely a mixed bag! It’s not every day you get to see a film like this and is definitely one not to be missed. In fact I’ve never actually seen a film like this before, which in this case is a very good thing!

4 out of 6 stars

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