Devil In A Blue Dress – Day Twenty Three – #40movies40days
Yet another wheezing and coughing allergy day. ¬†I needed to get to work on my Thriller Workshop in New York, so I decided to catch up with Devil In A Blue Dress. This tepid adaptation of Walter Mosley’s novel is a disappointment. ¬†I can only hope the book was better.
Easy Rawlins (Denzel Washington) loses his job and is offered a quick $100 to find a politician’s girlfriend. ¬†She’s a white girl who likes hot jazz and has been seen frequenting an illegal “colored” nightclub. ¬†Denzel quickly gets caught up in murder and blackmail.
In the best thrillers, (Power of Truth stories) the crime or mystery is a way of going deeper into the main character. ¬†While the investigator is chasing someone or something he is usually running from himself. No such thing happens in Devil In A Blue Dress. ¬†It’s a straight forward by-the-numbers episodic investigation. ¬†No larger deeper truth is revealed. ¬†We learn nothing new about the protagonist and he learns nothing about himself as a result of solving the mystery.
Worse, the devil in a blue dress isn’t devilish at all. ¬†She’s just misguided, believing love will trump her mixed race background and she can marry her white prince charming. ¬†She’s a femme fatale on the run without any dangerous claws.
Roger Ebert summed up my feelings perfectly in his review:
I liked the movie without quite being caught up in it: I liked the period, tone and look more than the story, which I never really cared much about. The explanation, when it comes, tidies all the loose ends, but you’re aware it’s arbitrary – an elegant solution to a chess problem, rather than a necessary outcome of guilt and passion. ¬†http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950929/REVIEWS/509290302
It doesn’t surprise me there was no second movie adaptation of the Easy Rawlins franchise.