A Fall From Grace: A Nice Movie Served In Dirty Dish

Movies, Netflix Movies
A fall from Grace

Watching Tyler Perry’s “A Fall From Grace” reminded me of a South African play I read in High School. The play, “Sizwe Banzi Is Dead” is a one-man play. There are a couple of characters in the play and they are all played by one man. The film “A Fall From Grace” was written, produced, directed, executive produced, and co-starred Tyler Perry. And it was acted in Perry’s new multi-million dollars Atlanta Studio. I suspect that at some point, Perry handled make-up. This one is a little far-fetched but it is perfect to believe that Perry himself edited the film or failed to edit it at all.

Before I watched “A Fall From Grace”, I saw the circus on Twitter over the errors on the movies including how actors pretend to eat but actually eat nothing and drink the air; how slippers are worn but not actually worn, how filming equipment show in the scenes, etc. They are very bad mistakes and they are seen mostly because the film is on Netflix, easy to pause and rewatch. Mistakes happen now and again. Didn’t we see a Starbuck cup in “A Game of Thrones” scene? – and this was a show that took years to be made. I heard that “A Fall From Grace” was filmed in five days and perhaps edited in one hour.

It was a great amateur outing in the office. Once again, Tyler Perry has shown that he is not ready to sit on the table of big boys filmmakers without his fans holding their breaths and wincing when they remember aspects of his movies.

Beyond the basic errors: The story

Take the errors away, this movie was not a bad show at all. The film is about a woman named Grace Waters played by Crystal Fox who is accused of killing her husband something she pleads guilty and for which everyone from talk show hosts to radio callers to the public defender’s office agrees to. The only thing that is left for Grace is to plea with the attorney’s office in order to get a prison close to her son.

Public defender counsel Jasmine Bryant played by Bresha Webb is assigned by her boss Rory played by Perry himself wearing a wig dug from the attics of a 1950s studio to take the case. Jasmine is picked because she is good at making good pleas for her clients. She has never gone on try mostly because her department can’t afford to pay for it.

When Jasmine meets Grace, it turns out, as you expect, another story, the real story from Grace Waters. She tells us and we watch how she met Shannon DeLong played by Mehcad Brooks a con artist who specializes in the older and rich women – you can tell that the way he talks to her, speaks to her, and just sweeps her off her feet. You can tell he is fake. But even you can’t predict the depth of his evil inner darkness.

Shannon steals Grace’s identity and steals more than 300 thousand dollars off her solid banking job; she is fired without benefits. He mortgages her home and borrows hundreds of thousands on her name. When Grace discovers he is the thief, she asks him to leave but he refuses, claiming that the law of Virginia makes him an equal owner of the house. Then he begins to bring girls home and lay them on their matrimonial home. The girls think she is his mother and he heaps to insult. Grace snaps and grabs a baseball bat.

Jasmine talks Grace out of this guilty pledge mostly because there is a reasonable doubt that Grace didn’t kill her husband. For one, his body was not found, for another Jasmine believes she can prove that Grace who has never even committed a traffic offense is not a heartless murderer that the prosecution and the society believe she is. It isn’t much but Jasmine believes it is enough to plant doubt in the minds of the jury. And she has to win this because her boss has her sack letter typed out.

A Fall From Grace: The Twist and magical resolution

It turns out Jasmine is not just a novice, she is also incompetent. She messes up the case no thanks to her star-witness and Grace’s best friend Sarah Miller played by Phylicia Rashad who comes to the witness box and admits that Grace killed her husband. At the end of the trial, Jasmine is in jail for contempt of court the day Grace is found guilty. Then the story pulled out what we call Deux ex Machina in classical literature. This is the force who comes from above the stage and rescues a character when everything within the play serves to pin the character and threaten to finish them.

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Somehow, Jasmine’s husband who is a police officer finds out that Sarah has criminal records. Somehow, Jasmine finds one of the elderly women she knows from Grace’s place trying to escape. Somehow, she discovers that Sarah is running an elderly people’s kidnapping outfit in her home. Jasmine is kidnapped and gagged and her husband busts the house to rescue her.

At the end of the day, Grace is set free and ambushed by cameras and the media. David has now won against the Goliath of the system, the media, and the corrupt organization of her best friend who happens to be Shannon’s biological mother and who isn’t dead after all.

The plausibility of the resolution of the story of “A Fall From Grace” asks a lot of its viewers. Suspending disbelief is not a problem in the era of “Fast and Furious” but without the mask of fast cars, screeching wheels, bombs, robots, and acrobaticism, it is impossible to get viewers to suspend disbelief.

When the film ends, I wasn’t elated that an innocent person was acquited, I was seated before my system mouthing what the heck just happened. This and not the elementary errors in the movie is my major issue with this movie, the inability of the story to convince me that what happened at the end should have happened. It is a good story served in a dish of a dirty weak plot twist and a false resolution. Tyler Perry pushed his luck too much.

Image source: LadBible

Amos JC

Amos JC

Amos JC is the head of movies and TV content.