Review: “A Simple Favor” Resurrects Blake Lively’s Acting Career
Blake Lively among other things, is a fashionable celebrity, a mother, a wife, a philanthropist, a professional jokester but not quite an accomplished actress. If you ask film critics to name one movie title that could be her breakthrough on the big screen, it’s rather hard. Managed to secure a legendary role as Serena Van Der Woodsen on TV series Gossip Girl, landing an equivalent role on the big screen is not that easy. Blake Lively’s movies are generally rated good, but not great enough to grant her that legendary status. When a mystery-thriller movie directed by Paul Feig called “A Simple Favor” was announced, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick were paired up to be the leading roles. Our minds raced between “will this be her breakthrough role?” and “will this be another stale movie like ‘Age of Adaline’?” With such complicated expectation in minds, we went to the screening of this movie held at Plaza Indonesia XXI. Adapted from a novel of the same name, the movie started off with Anna Kendrick, who played the role of Stephanie. Stephanie was a typical plain Jane single parent who owned a vlog in parenting and DIY craft. She later met a couple, Emily (Blake Lively) and Sean (Henry Golding) as their children were enrolled at the same school.
Emily and Sean who were busy with work found it hard to take care of their child. Upon seeing this, Stephanie offered her help to watch the couple’s child while they were taking care of some businesses. As they frequently met, Stephanie and Emily became closer and shared their views as mothers. Stephanie found out that Emily was a very private person who wanted to be invisible and that’s quite odd for a beautiful lady like Emily. One day, Emily asked a very simple favor to Stephanie to pick up her kid at school since she planned to take care of her business in another city. Stephanie agreed and picked the kid up from school without any suspicion. However, Emily didn’t reply nor give any news afterward, leaving Stephanie confused and dazzled. She and Sean became more worried as each day went by and finally decided to tip the police. Emily was found dead and left more questions than answers. The viewers are taken to a journey of Stephanie unveiling who was Emily, what she did, and who was the most possible murderer of her.
Albeit deemed as mystery thriller movie, this movie takes on a different approach on its cinematography and ambiance. There were no dark, bloody, and gloomy vibe that mostly present on movies with this genre. We were presented with a colorful array of interior design, wardrobe, landscapes and many more. There was a little bit of romantic fling going on, but as the genre suggests, the viewers are welcomed to a labyrinth where all scenarios could happen and everyone could be the perpetrator of Emily’s assassination. We found it hard to pick the most logical and rational alibi among the suspects, and towards the end, we could witness a very dramatic scene. It was a very enjoyable and thrilling watch. “A Simple Favor” has offered a role that fits Blake Lively like a glove. Anna Kendrick gave her top-notch performance as usual and Henry Golding became less awkward in front of the camera as it became the second movie he is in after “Crazy Rich Asian”. “A Simple Favor” will be screened nationwide starting from mid-October, 2018.
Reviewer: Susanti Oktavia/Editor & Translator: Novita Widia