Saturday, November 24, 2018

Review of "Freedomland," DVD version

Review of
Freedomland, DVD version

Five out of five stars
 The performances of the two main characters in this movie are astounding. Samuel L. Jackson plays Detective Lorenzo Council and Julianne Moore plays Brenda Martin, a woman that claims that a black man stole her car with her four-year-old son in the backseat. Council is called in to investigate, but it is clear to him from the beginning that Martin is not being completely truthful.
 There is an intense undercurrent of racial tension between the black neighborhood where the crime supposedly took place and the police as well as tension within the police force. Martin’s sister is a high-ranking officer on another police force outside the one that Council serves on and he pushes hard to clamp down on the black neighborhood. The black neighborhood is locked down hard via a police blockade and the shouting and recriminations begin. Council tries to pursue the case in an independent manner, but the situation makes it difficult to impossible.
 The best performance is by Julianne Moore as the clearly unstable Martin, her physical and facial mannerisms convey the disturbances ravaging her mind and body. While the viewer eventually learns the truth, it is clear to all early on that Martin is simply not being truthful. The character of Council is well written, while he is tough, he shows a great deal of vulnerability, his desperation when he reaches for an inhaler is palpable.
 This is a very good movie, there are many tense scenes where you are waiting for something major to happen, but there is only minor progress. The racial battles are a bit depressing, it is clear that an explosion will take place even though it could have been prevented if there was no police overreaction.

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