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A Simple Favour: A stylish thriller that keeps you guessing

by Roisin Gordon. Published Sun 14 Oct 2018 17:41

A Simple Favour takes a similar approach to Gone Girl with its story, that includes numerous plot twists that keeps you guessing and having a great noir mystery to draw you in.

Thanks to the film’s sharp and witty writing, stylish direction, and fantastic performances from its lead actresses, we are treated to a fantastic mystery thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end.

Based on the novel by Darcey Bell, the story follows Stephanie Smother (Anna Kendrick) a single mother and vlogger, who befriends glamorous PR Emily Nelson (Blake Lively), through playdates with their sons who attend the same school.

One day, Emily asks Stephanie for “a simple favour” to pick up her son from school, as she is caught up with work, but Emily never shows up and nobody knows where she has gone.

As Stephanie grows worried and suspicious, she starts to investigate Emily’s disappearance where she slowly unravels some dark secrets about her best friend.

Director Paul Feig makes a significant departure from his previous work, who is best known for directing outrageous comedies such as Bridesmaids and Spy. It was really refreshing to see him take on something different, and proves that he should direct more dramatic work in the future.

Feig does infuse a little comedy into some scenes, but he doesn’t make it feel forced but instead natural towards the characters motivations.

The strength of this film is that you never know where the story will take you, throwing in many twists as you delve deeper into Emily’s past that keeps you invested in what will happen to these characters and how it will end.

Just when you think that you will know the answer as to what happened to Emily or what you will find out, the film throws in a few red herrings that leaves you guessing again.

Whilst the build up to the climax was done brilliantly, there were a couple of moments in the final act that felt a little too goofy and didn’t really fit the sharp and witty tone. Thankfully it didn’t spoil the climax too much, and it was exciting to see how everything would turn out and what the outcome would be for these characters.

Blake Lively does a superb job in the role of Emily, who brings such a cool and confident yet fierce quality to her character which really draws you to her. It really helps you to understand why Stephanie would want to be friends with her in the first place.

Lively’s performance manages to really charm you, even though her character shows to have some less than admirable traits throughout the film. Despite the character’s complicated nature, Lively isn’t afraid to show a softer side to the character, which makes you sympathise with her in certain scenes.

Anna Kendrick is fantastic in the role of Stephanie, there are moments in the film where you should find the character annoying, but Kendrick’s natural charm and comedic timing really helps you to overlook it and manages to make her likeable.

Her character may have a squeaky clean and perky demeanor, but Kendrick isn’t afraid to show off a much bolder side to her character especially as the film progresses. She even reveals to harbour some dark secrets of her own, making you just as interested in learning about her character along the way.

A Simple Favour thrives on it’s plot that has you guessing at every turn, as well as its fantastic performances from its lead actresses.

Purple Revolver Rating: 4/5 - a stylish and thrilling mystery


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