Final Film Critique Tyler Perry Temptation Confessions of a marriage counselor
I have chosen a newly released film by film director Tyler Perry; Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. This film was distributed by Lionsgate and released in theaters on March 29, 2013. As stated above the film was written and directed by Tyler Perry. While there were a number of high-profile actors and actresses within this film the main ones for this movie were Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood, Ella Joyce and Robbie Jones (Imdb, 2013). Temptation was a romance drama film that was filled with fickle love emotions and scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat in suspense. I truly enjoy all films and plays written and produced by Tyler Perry, as they always have a meaning and personal experience behind them. This particular storyline tells you that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and with love comes hurt and pain. Though the film received mixed reactions upon its premiere, this paper presents a critique of the film in several aspects such as storytelling, cinematography, editing, style and directing among others ultimately showing that the film was inherently a success.
The story telling in the film has been altered and does not follow the conventional storytelling lines. In this story, the main storyline involves a couple seeking help from a marriage counselor about the problems that they are facing in their marriage (Imdb, 2013). The plot of the story involves having the couple undergoing some marital problems with the husband being the main protagonist. The introduction of another story where the counselor tells the young couple of a story about her sister named Judith and the hardships that she went through in her marriage. The storyline tries to match up to the one explained in the example given by the counselor but it does deviate completely from that line. This leaves the viewers expectations of a story mirroring the one explained by the counselor unfulfilled.
The storyline is also a cliché version that has been replicated from several other romance movies. It strongly involves a woman deserting her husband for another rich and charming man who turns out to be a womanizer. When the storyline tries to be captivating it ends up being illogical and inconsistent with the flow of the story especially where the male antagonist takes a completely different turn and this leaves viewers unable to comprehend what is actually happening in the movie (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011).
However much the storyline may sound to be a cliché, the struggles people go through in their relationships are replicas of each other. This is especially so where infidelity is involved. As such it is good to appreciate that the amount of twists to the “infidelity storyline” that Tyler Perry introduces can suffice to term this storyline as captivating.
The acting of the movie was great. There are several instances of brilliance throughout the film but some glaring flaws in acting were revealed. The actors in this film blend excellently and there are negligible flaws in acting and the compatibility of the actors. However there are glaring instances of acting flaws. In the beginning the movie depicts graphics that are mild and consistent with the plot of the film. However, with little warning, the film veers into strange territory. There are scenes depict exaggerated steamy sex sessions whose effects appear unreal and they sell themselves as such. There is also a scene where a car window is smashed in rage, another where actors are in laser-lit dens for their nightlife. These scenes are predictable and so are the many scenes in the entire film. At some point in the film, Judith is in a plane with Harley and in their conversation; Judith sells herself off with some seemingly poor acting. She asks Harley, “What do you dream about?” even before Harley answers, “you” she poses and signs in manner showing that the answer has been given in her affirmative.
The cinematography in this film can hardly be questioned. The lighting, graphics, transitions and special effects blend in amazingly to create an almost flawless film as fat as a drama of this type requires.
The editing of the film was perfectly done. There are negligible instances where issues, conversations, graphics, cinematographic effects, and the lighting are questionable. However, some themes such as dig use are not elaborately brought out.
The sound in the movie is commendable. The clarity of dialogues between actors as well as the background sounds music and theme sounds are above average. The
The film has great style and directing. Tyler Perry manages to do what he does best in this film-bring out relational strains in a manner that few other movie makers can. There is excellent transition between scenes and the actors bring out tones of emotions in their roles. Scenes depicting the affair between Judith and Harley are rife with lust and seemingly uncontrollable emotions that are characteristic of many illicit love affairs. There is a generous dosage of exaggeration in such scenes as Judith seems to preempt the actions or words of Harley in some of their scenes particularly in the scene where they are in a place.
At some point the movie’s storyline drags and this kills the excitement of watching with the viewers being compelled to start predicting the outcome of the movie. When Harley-the smooth tech millionaire appears on the scene and flashes his ridiculous wealth, viewers can predict the twist that has been introduced in the film. However, commendable directing of the film ensures that an affair between Judith and Harley takes time to progress. This leaves the viewers in suspense of the unfolding drama.
Impact of film on the society
This film has received mixed reviews from several quarters in terms of its role and impact in the society. It basically takes a close-up look at how extra-marital affairs can ruin people’s lives. Some people have lauded Tyler Perry for bringing out real, infidelity issues that are rife in our society. Tyler Perry is gifted in making films that expose the moral decay in today’s relationships thereby exposing people to the bitter truth that infidelity is evolving and it is here to stay. As such he exposes people to issues that that can face at some point in their lives and provides possible solutions. The teachings in Tyler Perry’s films including this one is simple “the grass will always look greener on the other side, and it only hurts oneself to overlook what they already have as they rush for the alluring unknown”. This basic teaching reverberates throughout the film and is a core teaching to a society where people are increasingly being prompted with several choices for mates and ways to have fun.
Critics have scolded Tyler Perry for this film claiming that it seems to glorify infidelity. They argue that the film seems to be so appreciative of infidelity and its existence in our society that viewers are only left resigned to the fate of a world that does not now commitment and fidelity in marriage. This, according to critics is setting a negative precedence especially for young people whose mentality will be shaped to accept infidelity as the norm. To some point this is true. Scenes depicting Judith with Harley are sensuous, steamy and evoke feeling of intense emotions while those involving Judith and Brice are boring, flat and evoke feelings and connotations that marriage is boring and an unlucky situation for one to find him/herself in.
Most importantly, this film brings to the fore issues such as risky behaviors that expose individuals to HIV which is a dreaded condition. As such this film has more of positive teachings to deliver to the general population as opposed to the negative ones.
The film is rightfully a drama. The unfolding events compound this genre as they depict rapidly changing graphics, fiction in instances where rage takes the better of actors and glass chatters. The title of the film is captivating and befitting of the dramatic events that unfold as the story progresses. There are a few wild and third-act twists that lend this captivating melodrama some crucial soap-opera kick. There are intense moments of standoffs between Judith and Brice that serves to heighten the drama expected to unfold in the subsequent scenes and the plot of the story does not disappoint.
The nature of the story befits the genre. The creation of a character- an ambitious woman who gets tempted by a charming millionaire thereby leading to betrayal, recklessness and uncontrollable passion perfectly fits a drama. Many people have heard of stories where people abandon what they already have in search of adventure only for them to end up in great tragedy and unhappiness (Mattern, 2013). Tyler Perry manages to bring out such stories this riveting drama.
Application of at least one approach to analysis and interpretation
There can be several approaches to analyze and interpret this film. One plausible application is that Tyler Perry simply wants to assert his recurrent theme in most of his films that infidelity is a complicated issue with our society has to grapple with for many years to come. Though he is seemingly resigned to the fate that infidelity brings to marriages, Tyler simply wants to lay it bare; infidelity is here to stay! He does this in a hard and unforgiving way to assert that courtesy of the developments in our society, infidelity has gotten a major kick.
In this film, it silently seems to state that the choice for one to remain faithful to their mate is always personal. Cautiously though, Tyler targets to cushion people against abandoning their mates in search of charming, rich and good-looking lovers. It seems a cliché but this film states a fundamental truth that it pays for one to be contented with what they have. Rather than develop an insatiable appetite for all that is ready and exciting, people should strive to forge good things out of what they already have (Mattern, 2013).
Overall textual themes
There are several themes in this film. The most evident theme is infidelity. This theme is best brought out by Judith who has an extra-marital affair with Harley. This theme comes across to warn people on the dangers of such affairs to families. The second theme in the film is betrayal where Judith develops an affair behind her husband’s back. Judith also acts in betrayal of her ethical upbringing under Christian teachings she received as a churchgoing youth in her rural church. She strikingly conflicts with what her devoted single mother Sarah (Ella Joyce) would have wished of her.
The other them well brought out in the film is exploitation of women. Harley is a womanizer who uses his riches and charm to lure women into his way. He decides to pursue Judith when he heard that she had been with only one man in her life in order to quell his desire to conquer virtuous women. Once scene shows some drug use and this is a silent theme that is hardly elaborated on and as such it cannot suffice as a major theme in the film.
The film Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is a romantic drama by Tyler Perry. It features Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood, Ella Joyce and Robbie Jones among other high-profile actors. The central story depicted in the film presents Judith as an adulterous woman who gets into an extramarital affair with a rich and charming man named Harley. A thorough critique on the film’s cinematography, sound, editing, storytelling, style and directing among others things reveals that the film was a success. The storytelling in the film is seemingly a cliché where a woman brought up in a church setting gets married and later gets into an extramarital affair with a rich and charming man. Though the infidelity theme has been heavily associated with this storyline, the dramatic scenes, exchanges and emotions in the film set it apart as delivering a very captivating story. The Sound and the editing that went into making the film cannot be faulted as is the cinematography. Although the acting in the film is commendable, some serious flaws can be noted in some scenes as exemplified in the scene where Judith and Harley are in a place and after asking a question, her emotions and reactions preempt the answer Harley was expected to give. The style and directing also has some exaggerated scenes where glasses are broken, heightened emotions as actors are engaged in dialogues and exaggerated emotions. The impacts of this film have been varied with some people arguing that Tyler Perry seems to condone and encourage infidelity while others contend that he is presenting issues as they are and educating people on the dangers they expose themselves to such as HIV. As such, the most plausible interpretation s that Tyler Perry wanted to educate people the many people who are struggling with infidelity that in the end it only hurts the perpetrator. In all, this film manages to bring out the themes of betrayal and infidelity perfectly warning people against the dangers of infidelity and thereby coming out as a success.
IMDb. (2013). Synopsis for Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. Retrieved on September 15, 2013 retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2070862/synopsis
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Mattern, J. (2013). Tyler Perry. Hockessin, Del.: Mitchell Lane Publishers.