Antebellum Review

'Antebellum' is an intense thriller starring Janelle Monae as Veronica, a successful advocate, and writer that ends up finding herself in a horrific situation. Before I begin my review of this film, I do understand that it may be upsetting for some to watch. However, I did not find the events extremely jarring, especially since this film is pure fiction and is not technically portraying any historically accurate events. The film excels in its cinematography and its lead. The movie is shot beautifully and there are many scenes that make for great stills. When I discovered that Janelle Monae originally went to school for acting, I was not at all surprised. She carries this movie through and through. You feel her angst, you feel her struggle. Where Antebellum falls short is its worldbuilding and desire for its viewer to keep a suspension of disbelief. The “twist” is something that I would hardly call one. Any cinephile that pays close attention to detail would’ve picked up on what was occurring early on. Furthermore, the movie creates this interesting, unique scenario and doesn’t build or construct it in a significant way. We spend way too much time at the beginning of the movie on the “plantation”, and while Janelle Monae is the best feature of the movie, I also feel that the focus on her causes a loss in the development of other characters. I don’t know if it is the modern-day Black in me, but I just felt there was no way this could happen today, and I think the movie's job was to convince me that it could. I wanted to know more. I wanted to see more. The end left me with a lot of questions that went unanswered. I felt as though #Antebellum was served to me as a fine dish but I got no recipe and some key ingredient was missing. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the film. Many say that they felt there was no message. I don’t agree. I believe the message is to continue to be vigilant. History can repeat itself. There are indeed people still in this country that glamorize the very times when we were in bonds. If we forget this. We will never progress.