25 September 2023

Proud Mary

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Babak Najafi, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Danny Glover, Billy Brown.

In the title role as Mary Goodwin, Henson (Hidden Figures) props the film on her capable shoulders when it wavers.

She plays the role of a mob enforcer who is caught in the middle of a war between crime families. She works for an organised crime family in Boston.

Her life is turned upside down after one of her jobs goes horribly wrong. A young boy is left with a parent after she kills his father. That’s when she takes on the role of his protector in an attempt to make things right.

Mary is tough, until she’s hit with an unanticipated dose of maternal instinct covered with a huge portion of guilt. These contradictory tendencies seem to originate from deep within her core.

Those feelings are apparent when she proudly tells her orphaned young ward Danny (Winston) what action to take in case of her death or when she’s in the arms of a former lover.

This hit-woman has the ability to dispassionately blow people away. Her parental arguments with Danny are also delivered with expert comic timing.

Winston has an acting gift beyond his years. He gives a good performance, along with Glover whose ‘Godfather’-like character marks his return to bad guy roles, and Brown who plays the love interest.

Director Najafi does well in adjusting the tempo during what is an excellent action high point.

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