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“Acrimony” Romance and Retribution

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

The first hour of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony plays out with a very inviting storyline, then it starts to slip into the depths of the “ordinary” making the film clichéd. That said, the direction, soundtrack, and acting are very good and cinematography above average, lending the film the helping hand to make it a box office winner. Now on DVD and Blu-ray, Tyler Perry’s fan base and drama lovers should enjoy the effort in the comfort of their living room.

Affluent college student Melinda Moore (Ajiona Alexus) is running to her dorm on a rainy afternoon when she bangs into Robert Gayle (Antonio Madison) dropping her books and papers on the sidewalk. Trying to make sense of it, Robert tries to get her attention as she runs away, but she’s gone. Later that day he goes to her dorm room trying to return the papers she dropped, but she has a negative attitude. Her roommate Sara (Danielle Nicolet) tries to calm the situation and at least gets Melinda to realize that Robert may really be sincere and she accepts his apology. It’s a beginning of a romance that will lead them into a stronger relationship.

Melinda Moore (Ajiona Alexus) and young Robert Gayle (Antonio Madison) in Tyler Perry’s ACRIMONY

Robert’s working on a battery that can recharge itself and often loses himself in his work. When Melinda’s mother dies he consoles her even attending the funeral. Thinking he may be after Melinda’s money, her sisters June (Jazmyn Simon) and Brenda (Ptosha Storey) disapprove of him because he’s from the “wrong side of the tracks”. Jump forward to their marriage with Melinda Moore-Gayle (Taraji P. Henson) supporting the two of them and Robert (Lyriq Bent) not getting any closer to completing his invention. When things start to change for the better, it’s not Melinda who may reap the benefits.

Lyriq Bent as Robert and Taraji P. Henson as Melinda Moore-Gayle in Acrimony

Tyler Perry does a very good job of setting up a story about relationship and hard times. Here it’s about love and passion, then jealousy and revenge. He shows the fierceness of Melinda grow with time and we find her doubting her love for Robert. Under his direction he draws excellent performances by both Ajiona Alexus as young Melinda and Taraji P. Henson as the older version. Just watching their transition is worth seeing the film. He even adds cream with a cherry on top with the acting of Antonio Madison and Lyriq Bent as Robert giving the film an added fine acting bonus.

While the buildup showing the meeting of Melinda and Robert up to their married life is a movie in itself, Perry then scripts a very predictable dark side to the story. With Melinda’s vileness increasing toward the finale there’s only one way out. A lot like most TV Lifetime movies, it’s a downer to see this movie take that direction.

Melinda Moore-Gayle (Taraji P. Henson) confronts Robert (Lyriq Bent) in Tyler Perry’s ACRIMONY

The whole cast is exciting to watch and for that I enjoyed Acrimony. Not only for Taraji P. Henson, because she always nails her characters, and with Melinda it’s a “killer” of a character. Sometimes sweet, but mostly conflicted, her Melinda can easily be committed as a bi-polar lunatic. If you think she is wicked in TV’s “Empire”, wait till you see her as Melinda. Even as young Melinda, Ajiona Alexus puts her character through a life of starry-eyed in love to a scorned woman and finally succumbing to manipulating sisters.

BONUS FEATURES:
Perry adds a very nice extra to his Blu-ray/DVD box and it’s a must see, but only after you’ve watched the film.

“Unleashing Acrimony” (11 min.) So do you think you have an anger problem? This little feature takes you into Perry’s directorial world and treats you to the viciousness of his main character. Hosted by Perry with Jaraji P. Henson, Danielle Nicolet, Ptosha Storey, Lyriq Bent, Ajiona Alexus, Antonio Madison, Crystle Stewart and Jazmyn Simon, they explain their roles and why their character feels like they do in various scenes. They also talk about some of the comical things that happened on the set during the filming.

Tyler Perry on the set of ACRIMONY

As for Perry, his ability to compel his audience, no matter comedy or drama, he keeps them mesmerized by forming good characters. He’s a wizard of filmmaking and his followers love him no matter what he puts up on the screen. Even as an actor (my favorite is Medea) you can’t take your eyes off of him because you really don’t know what he’s going to say or do next. It’s a legacy that will go on for a very long time, I hope.

Acrimony has been rated R for language, sexual content and some violence. Be cautious when watching the Blu-ray/DVD if children are home as there are many inappropriate scenes that can disturb immature children.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An acting and directing tour de force. (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Ajiona Alexus, Antonio Madison, Crystle Stewart, Jazmyn Simon, Ptosha Storey, Danielle Nicolet, Nelson Estevez, Kendrick Cross, Jay Hunter, Shavon Kirksey
Directed and written by: Tyler Perry
Genre: Drama, Thriller,
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual content and some violence
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Video Release Date: June 26, 2018
Original Theatrical Release Date: march 30, 2018
Language: English (changeable to English Descriptive Audio, or Spanish)
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Video:1080p HD Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 2 Discs
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Released in: Blu-ray. DVD, Digital HD

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