It is 1948 in LA and Ezikeal "Easy" Rawlins, an African-American World War II veteran, is looking for work. At his friend's bar, he is introduced to a white man, DeWitt Albright, who is looking for someone to help him find a missing white woman assumed to be hiding somewhere in LA's Black community. This woman, Daphane Monet, happens to be the fiancée of a wealthy "blue blood," Todd Carter, who is currently the favorite in the city's mayoralty race. Daphane Monet is known to frequent the Black jazz clubs in LA. Easy, innocently, accepts Albright's offer; however, he quickly finds himself amidst murder, crooked cops, ruthless politicians, and brutalizing hoodlums. This is a Chandler-esque "who-done-it" with an African-American theme. Written by
Joel Schesser <email@example.com>
Dazzling atmosphere, Washington make this a winner
Denzel Washington plays Easy Rawlins, a down-on-his-luck sometime machinist, sometime detective in late-1940's L.A. Seems someone wants him to find a mysterious white lady in a blue dress (Jennifer Beals)who's thought to have been seen in a blacks-only club. Enter Easy, who with his connections can get into the club and find the girl. But, of course, there's more to this plot than just that, or else it'd be a mighty short film.
The atmosphere is a major asset here; director Carl Franklin has done a magnificent job not only of recreating the Los Angeles of the late forties but also of showing the story from the black perspective, a rarity in film. All the sights and sounds are there, and if you concentrate real hard you can even detect the smells, too. Washington's aces, of course, as usual; makes you wonder if he'll do any more adaptations of Walter Mosley books starring Easy Rawlins. He's aided by a very good supporting cast, including Beals and Tom Sizemore (playing a heavy, surprise surprise!). Fans of Washington should watch this, but really anyone who likes film noir will approve.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?