I recently saw the movie No Good Deeds, and I have to say I have mixed feelings. Idris Elba nailed his role as a violent psychopath that easily murdered women. Taraji Henson nailed her role as a single mom defending her family. The story centers around Idris chasing Taraji. What gives me mixed feelings is the fact that I thought this was a Tyler Perry move, but now I realize it wasn’t. I can see the difference.
The movie has Idris Elba a violent psychopath that’s willing to kill for the love of one white woman. This feeds into many racial stereotypes of one dark skinned male harming white women. In one scene he forces Taraji (the beautiful black actress) to take her clothes off then tells her, “Don’t flatter yourself.” Meaning that she’s not attractive. The theme I walked away from an otherwise worthy thriller is that everyone valued white women and the successful educated black woman was less than attractive.
The cast of No Good Deed did a great job; from the best friend to the nanny. I went to see the movie because I thought it was a Tyler Perry movie, and because of the cast. Elba should get an award for his acting skills that are legendary. It’s just interesting that the black was married to a black man that didn’t seem to be attracted to her. My take on the perfectly flawed marriage was that Taraji’s husband wasn’t really into her. It would not be overreacting to state that the man playing her husband in the movie was disgusted by his black wife.
Tyler Perry movies are popular because they really resonate with the black community. They have horrible tragedy, but they also end with a great message that’s uplifting. If people are trying to steal the phenomenon of Tyler Perry movies then keep the same formula. Majority all black cast + uplifting message. It doesn’t have to be spiritual. Majority all black cast + mixed racial messages = nice try.
I’m all for films that are directed towards black people, but don’t make it another stereotype about how bad black people are; especially dark skin black males. Here’s a talented actor like Elba that gets to be the serial killer. Why couldn’t he be the husband? Perhaps the makers of this movie didn’t understand the significance of having a dark skinned actor play the murderer or perhaps they did? Many people of other races stereotype those of darker skin to be more menacing.
For the average person this movie was good. Many people went to see the movie that critics bashed and enjoyed it. I know people are going to *gasp* that I’m playing the “race card” as those that are unaware of the devastating implications of racism often do. I also know that as a woman of color this is simply a statement of my perception of the movie. It made me kind of queasy that the leading actress wasn’t seen as desirable by her husband and at the very least a serial killer.
Thank you film makers for targeting our community and our wallets. Aim for our hearts next time.