Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Is Chadwick’s Last Film Worth A Watch?

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Director:  George C. Wolfe
Cast: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Taylour Paige
Release Date: 25 November 2020
Genre: Musical/Drama
Platform: Netflix
IMDB: 7/10
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Plot

The story is set in Chicago in 1927 when Ma Rainey, trailblazing blues singer, and her band gather at a recording studio. What follows within the band performers & in the recording session is this film follows.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Review

This is based on August Wilson’s play of the same name, the story is staged entirely that consists of very limited characters giving prominent performances. Produced by Denzel Washington, this film is not necessarily a film adaptation of the play, it is more like Fences (2016) where each scene is dragged along for a long time giving the taste of the original theatre drama. We got to see powerful performances from Chadwick Boseman & Viola Davis. But it’s her who dominates & commands the screen, & everybody in the room for the most part. She gave one of the most genuine & powerful performances who had her own story that gives the reason for her stubborn role. You can say she’s the mother of Blues stealing every scene she’s in. Her sweaty appearance (make-up), smudged eyeliner & silver teeth are what made her role more vibrant.

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Now talking about Chadwick Boseman who won the best actor award at SAG Awards 2021 is not his first time giving such an impactful screen presence. Message from the King, Da 5 Bloods, 21 Bridges, and Marshall are some of his best-known films where he had won hearts multiple times & we could easily say that he’s a legendary actor. Sadly, Boseman passed away last year during the post-production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

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 Even as a Wakanda prince he won a huge fan mass with Black Panther (2018) but I think this was his best acting as Levee Green. A man whose arrogant personality arose from dreadful past incidents has been implanted so accurately by Boseman, it is applaudable. How a frightful childhood incident affected him for good & set him on a path that is difficult to come back from; the last few minutes that he dictates will make you honor him as an actor.

Verdict

This film is definitely not for everyone. Just like Fences (2016) this film has a very slow pace; one where you might fall asleep. But if you are someone who watch movies for content then you should add it to your watchlist. It’s a pleasure to see two brilliant performances simultaneously in a film that explores real-life struggles & dreams of the African-American community & how they are exploited. Viola & Chadwick delivers brilliant performances to ascertain the harsh truth of certain communities into the audience that might what the people need right now.




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