So I watched Lila & Eve…
I like going in to movies blind sometimes. By blind I mean, not watching the trailer or any promotional spots about the movie and knowing very little about the plot. This way the whole movie feels fresh and because you have no preconceived ideas, you walk in with very little discrimination or expectations about the plot and the movie’s given a fair chance to entertain you. And entertain me, this movie did!
Okay, basic plot: Lila (Viola Davis) is a mother whose son was recently murdered – caught in the crossfire of a driveby shooting. Lila attends a support group for mothers who have lost their children to violent crimes, here she meets Eve (Jennifer Lopez). Eve convinces Lila that, since the chances of the police finding her son’s killer are so slim , if she wants justice for her son’s murder, she has to take it herself. Together the two embark on a journey for vengeance that not only blurs the line between right and wrong but also the very fabric of Lila’s sanity.
I was so surprised with how much I enjoyed this movie. The plot isn’t anything original but this film is so well written and even better acted that the story feels powerful and new instead of drab and overdone. The biggest surprise in this movie for me was how much I enjoyed Jennifer Lopez’s acting. I think this is the best acting that I’ve even seen her do. One of the main reasons I went to watch this movie was because I read the synopsis and it reminded me a lot of Enough (where Lopez also did some amazing acting). The two films have similar premises – scorned women who take back their power through violence – and seeing how well Lopez did in that, I was expecting her to do as well in this.
Look, obviously Viola Davis is the “real” actress between the two but Lopez shows that she has moments of acting greatness in her. The chemistry between the two is also amazing and this was crucial because their friendship is a major driving force in this movie. Both characters have experienced heartache and tragedy and they both see something in the other that they appreciate and value. Davis and Lopez do truly incredible jobs bringing these two characters to life and making you care about them so that when they do start doing questionable things and resorting to vigilantism, you’re emotionally invested in their success.
I also loved the question of morality and justice this movie poses. Is the difference between right and wrong a clearly defined line? Black and white? Or is it a grey area in need of interpretation? If bad things happen to bad people, do they still deserve our compassion? Our love? This movie obviously skews our perception to these questions but becoming a monster to fight monsters, at the end of the day, just means you’re a monster. But if you become a monster for the right reasons, are you still a monster? This is a question that I don’t think I’ll be able to answer without being in that situation and I hope I’m never in that situation.
Overall, this is a really entertaining movie and it saddens me that it’ll probably slip under most people’s radar; but I hope that if you’re reading this, you go and see it because it’s a great movie that offers more than you think it would. Go see it 8/10