NEW KIDS, NEW FRIENDS
Maggie (Diane Silvers) is a transfer student and a bit of a shy one at that. At school, she meets Haley and her friends, Andy, Chaz, and Darrell. Haley and her friend like to buy liquor, rather have those of age by liquor for them, and head to Broken Rock to drink and have fun. Haley invites Maggie to go with her to which Maggie at first turns her down but soon ends up with the bunch.
BY US LIQUOR PLEASE?
The first time Maggie is with Haley and her friends they head to a liquor store. Darrell is outside the store asking strangers to buy alcohol to which each turns him down. Inside the van, his friends think he looks too desperate. After no success, Darrell comes back and they send Maggie out. She, at first, does not succeed either. It isn’t until Sue Ann, aka Ma, shows up walking a dog. Maggie does her best to pursued Sue Ann to buy the liquor, but Sue Ann turns her down. After a few minutes, Sue Ann agrees. The kids now have their liquor and head to Broken Rock. The incident repeats itself a few times with Sue Ann.
I’D RATHER YOU BE SAFE
On one particular time Ma buys them liquor she wants to drive away from the liquor store before giving them the booze. Ma drives them to her house and tells them she rather them have a safe place to party. Her only stipulation is that she has to make sure Andy, the driver, is sober enough to drive before they leave. They all agree to the plan. After this night, Ma becomes obsessed with the four kids to the point she’s over texting them and showing up at places they are. But the reason behind her obsession and other things she’s hiding, rather someone she’s hiding, is exposed.
THE OCTAVIA SPENCER TATE TAYLOR CONNECTION
Tate Taylor has worked with Octavia Spencer before when he directed The Help (Taylor, 2011). Taylor states the role of Sue Ann was originally written for a white actress, but after he showed the scrip to Octavia, she wanted to play the part. The role, however, shouldn’t have been written for a black or white actress. It should have been for any actress that wanted the role. And after viewing the film, there isn’t another actress who could have played the role of Ma better than Octavia Spencer.
The previews of the film were intriguing, especially Ms. Spencer playing a mean person, and possible murderer. However, the reviews weren’t that great. One even said the movie is predictable. Predictable it is not. It’s not until little secrets of Sue Ma’s start to be exposed that the viewer is aware of what’s really going on.
This is not an in-your-face type of film. And perhaps that’s the reason many dismissed it as being bad. In addition, Juliette Lewis seemed out of place in her role as Maggie’s mother, but it’s easy to get past that for she’s not the focus, Ma is.
OCTAVIA SPENCER COMMANDS THE ROLE
Octavia Spencer has a kind face and a gentle laugh that draws others to her. And she brings both to the role while bringing out the sinister side of her as Ma. It is not only easy for the kids to take a liking to her, but the audience will as well. And when the truth is revealed, despite all she does to others, the viewer may still be left feeling bad for Ma.
Ma is currently streaming on HBO.