Movie Review: A Simple Favor

Sometimes, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to watch a perfectly paired duo of two incredibly talented actors with great chemistry on the big screen. Labeled a comedy thriller, ‘A Simple Favor’ sees Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick’s truly believable relationship charm the audience, so much so that it took me back to the nostalgia of watching 2013’s ‘The Heat’ (Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock). Starring as two unlikely friends both with mysteriously dark backgrounds, the two actors did not fail to keep their audiences eyes glued to the screen, as they matched the level of intensity they felt watching 2014’s ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train’.

Directed by Paul Feig (creator of ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘The Heat’, ‘Spy’ and ‘Ghostbusters’) the film felt fresh and modern, and I personally enjoyed watching a strong dynamic female duo grace us with their wittiness, charm and more importantly, their power to manipulate and make the tables turn.

The plot follows two single mums who happen to meet as they pick their sons up from school. Each have slightly mysterious and eventful pasts, one more dramatically conveyed than the other. Their stories unravel as the film moves on, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing what is around the next corner of their lives. Marriages as well as friendships are tested, and we get a proper insight into the mentality of criminal masterminds; the film makes us reconsider how well we can actually trust someone: we think twice about who our true friends truly are. I suppose the film shows that at any age, female friendships can be just as difficult as those of teenagers and young adults. It reminds us that there are two sides to everyone, no matter how ‘simple’ their lives appear to be.

 Kendrick, (33) showed off her innocent side, contrasting to her slightly edgier portrayal as Beca in the hit teenage trilogy ‘Pitch Perfect’. She takes on the plausible role as a responsible parent, working on her own and keeping the rest of the characters’ lives as stable as they can be with great maturity. Lively, (31) on the other hand, revives her role as the alluring, affluent and slightly mysterious character of Serena Van De Woodson in the 5 year running hit series ‘Gossip Girl’. Her versatility, nonetheless is successful: balancing the level of sardonic comedy in the character, as well as her instability all in one performance.

‘A Simple Favor’ was a joy to watch, so much so that I went to see it twice in the cinema. It captures the realism of daily life, but gives it that hint of wonder at the same time: you can never quite know what will happen next. Despite its level of predictability towards the end, the sarcastic punchlines added a lighter touch and the actor’s performances, as well as the direction, left it a hard film to criticise.

 

By Olivia Morel

 

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