Movie review: A Simple Favor

A Simple Favor is a well-acted, intelligently written drama that has the effect of holding the audience with every twist it takes them through.

A Simple Favor is about Stephanie, a small town mother who becomes best friends with another mother, Emily, whose mysterious ways leads Stephanie to look into Emily’s entire life after her sudden disappearance.

The core strengths of the film itself are its acting, its mystery, suspense and the style in which it continuously shifts through effortlessly.

Anna Kendrick who stars as Stephanie is instantly likeable with her high energy dedication towards her son, her wit and her dark sense of humour that is appealing to the viewer, causing them to empathize with the character all the more. It then blends beautifully with Blake Lively’s character, Emily, whose dark side is her leading attribute, showing compassion in very few aspects which will leave people loving to hate her.

The mystery of Emily herself never becomes truly clear until half-way into the movie, yet it never gives anything away, only leaving breadcrumbs for a viewer to collect. This style can be done very poorly with movies like The Happening or very well like Gone Girl. A Simple Favor does it in the way of Gone Girl with far more humour so that it is appealing and allows the audience to connect with the characters.

The humour itself is very well placed, it leaves space to breathe but still keeps the pace and tension on track. It’s far too common to add humour and destroy the suspense as of late due to the success Marvel movies have had using this tactic. Though the director Kevin Feig doesn’t fall into this trap and keeps moviegoers on the edge of their seat until a satisfying conclusion.

The one flaw that the film had was the character of the husband, who played an integral part in the plot, though continuously feels like an afterthought in the grand scheme of the film. Henry Golding himself does appear to be giving his all though, but unfortunately feels under-shadowed due to the performances that were given by the two leading women.

A Simple Favor is a fun, modern, noir-styled show that gives viewers a suspenseful ride that carries through from beginning to end. It’s strong acting, well-executed directing and general intelligence lead to one show that leaves the films that could be considered this year’s Gone Girl.