Lila And Eve
Viola Davis, Jennifer Lopez
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…tumbles off the rails long before the end credits roll.
When her son is killed in a drive-by, single mum, Lila (Viola Davis), finds her entire life ripped apart. Receiving no comfort in the support group that she attends, she finds solace in the arms of Eve (Jennifer Lopez), who has lost her daughter to violence. Eve is willing to give voice to all of Lila’s frustrations regarding the investigation of her son’s death, so it comes as no surprise when the suggestion is made that they investigate it themselves. What starts out as a simple search for clues escalates into a murder spree, and the two women find themselves pursued by criminals and police alike.
Directed by Charles Stone III (Drumline), Lila And Eve is problematic in light of recent gun crimes in America and movements such as Black Lives Matter. Take, for example, the moment when a mother laments the death of her sons – killed by Lila – only to be stripped of both her grief and motherhood because her boys dealt drugs. It feels like we’re being preached to about who is allowed to be affected by violence on the streets. Perhaps the film’s twist, in which the truth of Eve’s background is revealed, is supposed to justify the politics of the hour preceding it, but if so, it doesn’t gel. Largely because Eve’s big reveal is signposted from the minute that she walks on screen; once you’ve solved her mystery, the rest of the film’s faults are laid bare.
It’s Viola Davis who stays on top throughout, giving Lila enough grounding that you do feel some semblance of pity for her come the film’s dénouement. But she isn’t able to carry the film by herself, and Lila And Eve tumbles off the rails long before the end credits roll.