Tyler Perry must have deeply sensed the growing number of women going through stuffs. He must have had a close-range experience of how African-American Women are specially labelled for fighting back in relationships. If not, he wouldn’t sum up the wars that happen in relationships with the word “Acrimony.”
This word strangely brings to mind other similar-sounding words such as “alimony” and “palimony” but while these two words are synonyms, “acrimony” is in a different semantic league as it describes an emotional state of a betrayed lover. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary describes acrimony as “angry bitter feelings or words.” This is an encapsulation of what happens in toxic relationships. Words in dictionaries are mere words until they are pungently dramatized on the stage of our emotions, then the real meanings emerge and give us dimensions of interpretations and essences. Tyler Perry feels at home dramatizing “acrimony” in a powerful way, in the way many of us –men, women and even children – can understand.
Perry and his inclination for black women’s traumas
Tyler Perry has such a penchant for dramatizing the agonies of Black women. With cinematic masterpieces such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” and “Why did I Get Married?” he has demonstrated how faithfully he can stay with the spirit of the titles of his movies. “Acrimony” also promises to be a heart-wrenching story of the experiences of a Black woman in the hands of her husband.
The meaning of the movie is evocatively enlivened by the brilliance of Taraji P. Henson’s character interpretation. In fact, her personality alone is enough to drive this franchise to a safe harbor. And her acrimony is contagious; it’s all over on the scenes where she appears as well as where she does not appear. She has the character strength that is stimulating and domineering enough to control the atmosphere of every set. She would make you feel the acrimony like her story is your life, like everything is happening to you right away. And this is what makes her adorable in this movie. Taraji glides from one emotional state to another so seamlessly that you cannot but ride with her on the crest of the emotional war. She does not stop at just acting the role, she becomes the character and lives the life of that character. In every step; you see the pain, in every smile; you see the bitterness, in every puff of her cigarette; you see how she lives the anger. Every word seethes with anguish of betrayal.
Lyriq Bent, a fantastic Jamaican-Canadian actor who is best known for his moving display in “The Book of Negroes,” “Saw,” and “Rookie Blue” does not fall short in his interpretation of the emotionally demanding role. He certainly brings all those vintage acting to the set of “Acrimony.” The way he tries defending himself comes real. How he is able to row between two women reeks of the antics of a visceral sensual game master and an adorable gentle man.
“Acrimony” easily comes off as a portentous thrilling tale of love and betrayal – an expression of Tyler Perry’s cinematic competence.