Antebellum (2020): 15 Interesting Reviews and Reactions by Fans and Critics!

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: February 6, 2021

was made with the intention of creating an extraordinary narrative thriving on
complexities, but you come out of the movie unable to articulate what you just
witnessed. You’d be surprised at how annoyed you’ll feel by the end of the
movie watching those credits roll down on your screens.

the movie, you’ll fail to develop any connection with the story, as it
formulates for you a gimmicky twist along with an irrational series of climatic
reveals. It’s a hard act to live up to when you’re simply filled with hollow
entities. Cinema isn’t supposed to be entitled – it needs to live up to reality,
especially if it aims to make social commentary. If you settle on making on a
movie about the systemic oppressions of society, you better not add flavors, as
that makes it lose relevance.

not like the debut of the Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz collaboration is
unworthy of attention and praise – it has its moments.

However, the truth is
that its half-baked amalgamation of facts and fiction disintegrates the nuances
required in this format of storytelling. The opening sequence is impressively
shot and the Coen brothers have truly outdone themselves this time as the
costumes are marvelously designed. But that’s when the ray of positive sunshine
dies. The crux of it all is mishandled and muddled. 

before the opening scene, William Faulkner’s quote flashes on your screen:“The past is never dead. It’s not even
A familiar quote that leaves you nothing but intrigued.

the surface, Antebellum seems to have it all but somehow the depiction of
violence and the slavery trope feel exploitative. It leaves you feeling icky
about the clichéd enactment of slavery – it’s too polished and varnished. You
can see the attempt was an honest one, but Bush and Renz fail to conceptualize
and execute the story, which is supposed to be layered and insightful.

Monáe essays the ill-conceived character with conviction and exudes radiance,
which is simply outstanding. You can’t deny the power of her screen presence –
she simply commands your attention when she’s up there. However, her
performance becomes strained with every passing scene, all thanks to the
intensity with which her situations grew sillier. Her character arc becomes
stagnant as the writer got tricked into his own web of victimized

one is arguing that movie-making is not an onerous labor. In fact, we believe
that when Antebellum premiered on PVOD, its primary objective was to give
renaissance to the meaning of American slavery. And frankly, nothing but a
blistering response should’ve been expected out of it.

the heart of it, this is a story about a woman who’s a victim of her horrifying
circumstances and she’s unable to come to terms with her history, present, and
future. The cinematic discourse was timed perfectly, as we’re openly hosting
topics like race due to the BLM movement that catalyzed the national dialogue
but— unfortunately— the critics aren’t buying it.

Tomatoes scored it with a 285 rating, arguing that it was an “unpleasant experience”. On the opposing
end, there’s Stephanie Zacharek from Times showering praises on Monáe for her “electrifying” performance. She continues
to describe the movie as “a tense,
thoughtful picture that seeks both to entertain and provoke.

addition, The Atlantic blocks it as “a
gory theme-park ride showcasing the horrors of slavery
” and
has concluded that it’s a “leering,
exploitative depiction of violent, slavery movie tropes”.

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claims that the negative reaction from the critics is mainly due to the subject
and material of the film rather than the movie itself.

said: “We knew, based on slavery, that
there were going to be plenty of people that would say, ‘Why is this movie
necessary at this time? It’s irresponsible’, etc, and that’s the headline —
that there’s no need for any other ‘slave film’, which we completely

continued: “However, we’re not going to
contribute to the erasure of the history of Black people in America and how
this country was founded, and where they want to get back to. This movie really
is a visual representation of what ‘Make America Great Again’ would look like.”

lot of critics implied that the creators are experiencing a slavery movie
fatigue, but Bush sternly rejects this notion. He believes that he didn’t aim
to please the White audience with this film. Hence, he suggests that as a Black
artist, himself he knows the reality of his people and is well-versed with the
brutal hardships that caused the community so much blood.

“I think from our perspective, the stories of
the enslaved are by and large always approved or greenlit by someone white. And
so it’s interesting to me that Quentin Tarantino is the only one who has been
able to do something so provocative with the slave narrative in ‘Django Unchained’
because he could.”
– He said.

having some major redeemable traits, the film has largely received negative
reviews. To be utterly honest, The Atlantic’s headline that says ‘Antebellum
isn’t just bad, it’s vile” has to hurt. In retrospect, the twists and turns of
the film in the initial scenes seemed almost irrelevant and tasteless after
that final plot twist and maybe that’s what has triggered such a wild response.

some critics complained that the incorporation of graphic details of slavery
didn’t suit the genre of elevated horror. They found it too far-fetched and
serious for the overall theme of the film. The attempt to showcase a gruesome
representation of slavery enveloped in a relevant social message was a noble
one but, unfortunately, a misfire. There are many sequences that don’t match
the tone of the entire movie – they’re shot inconsistently and ruin the overall

conclude it, the movie was thrilling piece of horror with insincere depictions
of slavery that was added to cultivate strong feelings. But
instead of insinuating feelings of empowerment, it embroiled frustration and

film’s bombshell twist was a major source of consternation for critics who felt
it was exploitative, predictable, and implausible. Critical consensus appears
to agree that, although Antebellum strived to create a compelling horror story
with a relevant social message, its obvious twist and gruesome presentation
cost the film dearly with audiences. Antebellum’s failure to connect with
viewers means the forthcoming remake of Candyman may still be the most
important horror movie despite a delay to 2021, as it addresses similar themes
with what is hopefully the more successful approach.

Antebellum (2020) released, fans and critics jumped at it and for justified
reasons. We deconstructed 15 interesting reviews above and now check out
reviews and reactions by fans because at times fans and critics are not on the
same page.




Updated February 6, 2021
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