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Black Snake Moan

April 13, 2011

Lazarus: You hungry?

In rural Mississippi, Lazarus, a former blues musician who survives by truck farming, finds a young girl nearly beaten to death near his home. She’s the white-trash town tramp, molded by a life of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and verbal abuse from her mother, who seems to delight in reminding Rae of her mistake in not aborting her. Lazarus, who is also facing personal crisis at the dissolution of his marriage, nurses Rae back to health, providing her with gentle, fatherly advice as well as an education in blues music. Rae’s boyfriend, Ronnie, goaded by the man who nearly beat Rae to death, misunderstands the relationship between Lazarus and Rae, and vows to kill him. Lazarus, exhibiting a street-smart understanding of violence and its motives, calls Ronnie’s bluff, senses that he is as troubled as Rae, and becomes a guiding force in the young couple’s resurrection. 

Lazarus: God put you in my path and I aim to cure you of your wickedness.

First off, wow. I’ve never seen a film this invigorating and real, while boasting such authentic performances by the gorgeous Christina Ricci, the always entertaining Samuel L. Jackson, and a surprise role by Justin Timberlake. Second, I want to give credit to Samuel L. Jackson for his performance. Being one of the most hard working actors in the country, I can’t resist any film with him. Jackson’s performance as a divorced bluesman who chains a drugged up whore to his house reminds me too much of the famous character Jules Winnfield from Quentin Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction, which in a sense, is a great honor. The reminder probably stems from Jackson’s constant use of the word “motherfucker” throughout the film, which cannot help but produce laughs. Christina Ricci’s portrayal as Rae is brilliant and generates lots of intense moments as she projects her distorted fears onto Lazarus Woods, who is keeping her with him. This is definitely Ricci’s top notch performance that is both disturbing and intriguing to watch, which is too insane not to watch. ‘Hustle & Flow’ director Craig Brewer has crafted something different and very entertaining. The film was also written by Craig Brewer, which proves how good he is at his profession, and for that, he has my full respect. ‘Black Snake Moan’ is a very intriguing film that will entertain anyone who enjoys a good flick.

 

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