Just because a movie has a great soundtrack, editing and casting doesn’t mean a film will actually and contextually come together to make a great viewing pleasure. However at the HBO Original Film premiere of BESSIE, that concoction came together and brewed a spell that was cast over the entire audience including myself. With that I would like to give you my Top 5 reasons HBO’s BESSIE is a definite must-see.
5. The film shows a peek into the life of one of the most underrated queens of blues, Bessie Smith. Bessie was no joke during her life, she could love a woman, seduce a man, fight anyone who tried her and never admitted defeat.
4. No one was able to pull that off in my opinion except for the queen herself, Ms. Queen Latifah. Ms. Latifah not only showed her always sharp acting and comedic timing, but she also made you honestly understand who Bessie Smith was, how the times around her made her so tough and most importantly that “The blues is not about the audience getting to know you, it's about you getting to know your audience." (Mo’Nique as Ma Rainey in the film Bessie).
3. The cast of the film is just phenomenal. Mo’Nique, Mike Epps, Micheal K. Williams, Tika Sumpter and Khandi Alexander and Charles S. Dutton all reminded me that acting isn’t, in no way, simple... but if done right, it becomes raw and beautiful.
2. Blues is normally known because of people like Louis Armstrong or Sam Cooke. However, in order to sing the blues you have to live the blues and the film Bessie shows why and how an artist blossoms or wilts into the voice they nurture into their own sound. Ms. Latifah gave us the naked truth of blues and through Bessie, I honestly believe that that the bBlues will rise again and the sound of Bessie Smith will be filling many playlists.
1. Overall this film had all the elements I want for any and all films that I watch. Grit, love, sadness, comedy and realization were all personified somehow in almost every scene.
Go see it for yourself and decide what Bessie Smith and the blues means to you.
Check out the HBO Original Film Bessie on May 16th, 2015. Check your local listings for times.
If you are interested in my reviews or my opinion in anything feel free to email me at [email protected] I’m always an open book.