Aline Silva Staff Writer
On Jan. 17, 2020, Tyler Perry released his first movie to Netflix called “A Fall From Grace.” While some might argue the performances and narratives are stronger than one would see in a Madea movie, for example, Perry’s work in this film was still amateur.
The film is centered around Grace Waters, played by Crystal Fox, who is convicted for the murder of her husband. Her lawyer, Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb) takes a deeper look at her case and begins to believe there is a conspiracy at play. Jasmine starts to believe there is a way for her to beat this case if she is able to gather substantial evidence in favor of Grace. Perry flashes back and forth between the jailhouse interviews and the whirlwind romance between Grace, an older, divorced woman and her now deceased, younger husband, Shannon (Mehcad Brooks). The two met when Grace attended an art gallery exhibit at the urging of her best friend, Sarah, played by Phylicia Rashad. Shannon is charming, handsome, too good to be true and their relationship begins to unravel and dissolve as quickly as it starts.
Perry is the writer, director, producer, and the co-star of this film and should be given some credit for creating this production in just five days, however, this might be the cause for all of its flaws. A major critique of this film were the plot holes and inconsistencies that developed the story, but just did not make sense. The film opens with a shot of a woman falling to her death, which has no relevance to the rest of the movie until the last 20 minutes. Towards the end, Jasmine and the audience find out that Shannon took the identity of the fallen woman and attended the exhibition in her place. However, how the art gallery or the fans of the art did not figure out that Shannon, a black man, is not the white woman who actually took the art is dumbfounding. Jasmine’s defense of Grace in court is simply embarrassing. Every time Jasmine objects she gets overruled, when the prosecutor objects, it is sustained. Jasmine’s opening statement went along the lines of, “Grace is a grandma who bakes cookies, how could she kill someone?” and was considered a strong statement. There was no evidence against Grace, not even a body found, however she was about to be given the death penalty. Without criticizing every part of this scene, it was safe to say that Jasmine lost this case and Grace was spending the rest of her life in prison.
Jasmine’s husband and local police officer is a major element to the exoneration of Grace and only because he was careless in his field. In the middle of arresting somebody, he gets a call from a fellow officer that tells him to check his car’s computer. He tells the handcuffed person to wait on top of the car as a picture, not clearly visible to the audience, flashes on his computer; he drives away leaving the man handcuffed, which is what leads to the freedom of the antagonist in the end.
Creating a film in five days is a feat not many people can say they are capable of doing well, but since Perry could not even make sure his actors’ wigs were on right, he is also one of those people. Despite all the criticism, this film was not unbearable, but it did not deliver; it has an interesting plot and a great cast, but fell flat in terms of production. If you need a laugh, “A Fall From Grace” is the perfect film.