Film Review - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


Film Review by Allen Henriquez

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Based on the Play by August Wilson

 

Director: George C. Wolfe

Screenplay adaption by: Ernie Santiago Hudson, Chadwick Boseman (Rest in Peace)

Starring: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Taylor Paige, Colman Domingo

The very tightly wound brilliantly crafted play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is brought to life by: excellent direction, editing, and a wonder visual effect. The production flies high above into the outer stratosphere with performers like Viola, Chadwick and Glynn let loose to fill the atmosphere with explosive turning and twisting of the poetic verse that August Wilson’s plays are capable of when the talent and direction are given the chance at the challenge. Ma Rainey is in Chicago March 1927 to record an album. She brings with her a young woman, Dussie Mae, and a young man, Sylvester. The band is waiting for her at the recording studio: Piano, Bass, Slide Trombone, and horn player.

The tension and emotional dynamics of the band center on the intelligence and aggression of the horn player who writes his own music, which has a progressive sound, and tempo. The horn player, Levee, is played by Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick’s performance is the award-winning type. Chadwick’s Levee is the explosive personality that clashes with the “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey, played by Viola Davis. Viola is only getting better as she shows the World more of what she is effortlessly able to perform.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was my favorite play by August Wilson, and no one could’ve played the main character like Viola: so watch out, clear the way, here she comes.

Check it out for yourself. Also, special mention to Glynn Turman as Toledo the piano player, who has been excellent endlessly and shines very brightly here, as do all the cast members.

 


Submitted: January 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Allen Henriquez. All rights reserved.

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