Furlough | Film Review
Hey Guys x
This may be a film that you haven't heard of. The only reason I know about it is because I follow Tessa Thompson on twitter, where she has promoted it.
However, I'm really glad I do because otherwise I definitely would have missed it. So I'm writing this review to make sure that other people don't miss it too! It doesn't even have a Wikipedia page yet!
Anyway, this film is about a prison inmate called Joan Anderson, who gets granted furlough. She has 36 hours to leave the prison and say goodbye to her dying mother. The only catch is that she is to be accompanied by new CO Nicole Stevens. CO Stevens is desperate for a permanent position at the prison, but to get that, she has to make sure that her 36 hours with Anderson go as smoothly as possible. But as they travel, Stevens has to decide whether she wants to continue to live her life for her mother, or to finally live for herself. Could this unruly prison inmate actually have a positive effect on her?
The first thing I thought after finishing this movie was that, there wasn't any real conflict. There were small instances and mishaps, but there's no point where anything goes seriously wrong. And while that may sound like a criticism, I really liked it.
Of course, I enjoy watching dramas as much as the next person, but I also love films like this where all I have to do is watch and enjoy.
I loved the two main characters, Anderson and Stevens, played by Melissa Leo and Tessa Thompson. The two had a great banter with each other, and their on-screen chemistry was really great. Even though the character of Stevens couldn't have too much to do with Anderson because of her job, there's something about the two of them together that is so nice to watch.
Don't be fooled by the 'prison' overtone, this is undoubtedly a comedy. It's a funny film, there are definitely a few times when I laughed out loud, and to be honest I don't think it could be marketed as anything else, because like I said, there's not a lot of conflict.
However, it's not slapstick comedy, and it's not 'a-laugh-a-minute' thing. In fact, the main reason it's funny is because of what Anderson gets up to when she's let out into the real world for those 36 hours, and the way that Stevens tries (and sometimes fails) to get the upper hand. As I said, these two characters together really work. It reminded me a bit of 'Hot Pursuit' in that sense (which is a film that everyone should watch because it's so funny!)
Plus, you can't really talk about the film without mentioning Whoopi Goldberg, who plays Stevens' mother, and is also a factor that makes the film hilarious. She is a woman that relies totally on her daughter, and the dynamic that she has with Tessa is really interesting. I'd love to see the two of them play mother and daughter in a longer, maybe more dramatic film, because they're great together.
Overall, don't go into this thinking that it'll be hard hitting or intense. But you'll have a good time, you'll laugh, and you'll 'aww' at the sensitive moments when they come. It's definitely one to watch if you have some time on your hands!