Beauty review (2022): Subpar execution with aesthetically pleasing visuals

Beauty is a new Netflix drama film about a talented young black woman, Beauty, who embarks on an ambitious journey to become a music star while dealing with her family and girlfriend.

Story

Beauty (Gracie Marie Bradley) is a gifted young Black woman who was raised in the 1980s with her family with dreams of becoming a singer.

Beauty’s mother (Niecy Nash) wishes to keep her away from the exploitative business, but her father (Giancarlo Esposito), who views her as an investment, is excited when a record label contacts her about signing a contract with them.

Her brothers, Abel (Kyle Bary) and Cain (Micheal Ward), trust her to make decisions that are best for the family.

The person most worried about Beauty is Jasmine (Aleyse Shannon), her girlfriend. She gives her advice on how to conduct their relationship when she gets famous as well as how to avoid being manipulated.

The two moved into an apartment in a city that the music record label had offered after signing the deal.

Performances

In the lead part, Gracie Marie Bradley shines brilliantly with most of the screentime to her.

Niecy Nash does a decent job as Beauty’s mother. Despite a mediocre storyline that doesn’t give much room for a standout performance, she performs well.

Giancarlo Esposito portrays Beauty’s father, and while he excels, it often feels as if the character is being pushed too far.

Even though they had little screen time and shallow characters, her brothers Abel and Cain, played by Kyle Bary and Micheal Ward, respectively, could have given a stronger performance.

The movie’s lone likeable character is Beauty’s girlfriend Jasmine, who is superbly portrayed by Aleyse Shannon. She gives one of the best performances in the movie, just behind Niecy Nash.

Positives

The film’s cinematography is excellent. The camera and lighting are handled fantastically. Each scene is presented in such an artistic and elegant way. The camera of director of photography Benoit Delhomme delights in catching Bradley’s face’s angles and colours. The movie has some nice, fancy editing.

The soundtrack has to be one of its greatest elements. We can plainly see the racial conflicts in the culture of the period thanks to the well-chosen songs that are played throughout the film. The strongest elements of the movie are when more multimedia materials were introduced and Beauty frequently viewed it, which enhanced the impact and message.

Negatives

The movie is a little slow-moving and will get dull in many places. Only the music will keep you entertained if you came here searching for entertainment, though. The movie leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and the moment in which Beauty speaks and flirts with her male neighbour feels utterly out of character and has no proper reason behind it other than hurting Jasmine.

With this plot, ‘Beauty’ attempts a lot but has trouble pulling it off. The characters, particularly Beauty, are sketchy, and their interactions are predictable and pointless. Lena Waithe distance the character from both the audience and Beauty herself by being more concerned about how Beauty sees herself via other artists.

There isn’t much to praise for the Netflix film in terms of an engaging plot. The approach taken by director Andrew Dosunmu is shallow and unconvincing. As a result, it becomes difficult to follow what is going on and what will happen because the movie never really gets anywhere.

Verdict

Beauty can only be watched for its gorgeous score and beautiful cinematography; other than that, the film has nothing more to offer.

Rating: 2.5/5


Also Read: Beauty (2022) summary and ending explained