Plot: Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) is at a court mandated session with a therapist, but of course, she doesn’t think it is needed. But since it is compulsory, she opens a little and gives her therapist a look into why she feels so much anger, the story of how she wound up in this tense situation. Her story goes back to college, when she met a young under less than ideal circumstances, but the two had an instant connection and began a relationship. After the death of her mother, he was there to console her and in her mind, take advantage of her weakened emotional state. She used some of her inheritance to buy him a car, but he then became distant and she even caught him with another woman, which resulted in a traumatic turn of events. The two ended up staying together and as she says, the years passed like minutes. But what transpired that could push her to the kind of extremes that require court intervention, let alone repeated legal issues like the ones she’s dealing with now?
Entertainment Value: This is some intense, deep burn melodrama, driven by a dynamic, powerful lead performance from Taraji P. Henson. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about this movie that it goes wild toward the finale, but this is high melodrama, of course things go off the rails. If this was a restrained, grounded narrative about healthy relationships, it wouldn’t be a fun, melodramatic ride. The drama is consistent and tense, with Henson’s Melinda always on the brink of an emotional collapse, before she finally tumbles right over the edge. Henson’s performance is what drives Acrimony, as she is dialed in and nails the role in a fantastic effort, one that should make anyone think twice before they cheat on an unstable woman. Her screen presence here is unforgettable, doing so much with her eyes and subtle mannerisms, which are able to convey the emotional roller coaster ride inside her. The rest of the cast is solid as well, but Henson runs this one and her performance is pure melodramatic gold. She’s scarier here than Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers combined. I do think the pace here is an issue at times, as some slower stretches pop up and the movie overstretches the narrative, but the tension and Henson’s performance compensate for the most part. I had a blast with Acrimony, as I love these kind of tense, nasty melodramas and if you’re a fan of the genre or Henson, you’ll likely have fun here as well.
There’s a couple of brief shots of bare man ass, but otherwise the sex scenes are tame and no skin is shown. I think the best sex scene is the one Melinda interrupts with her Jeep, as it is wild and quite memorable. As you’d expect, the drama sometimes leads to confrontations and even violence here, but it is mostly mild or at least bloodless, with a couple of exceptions. The finale has a couple bursts of crimson, but one is pretty weak CGI, which is a let down. I didn’t find the violence or bloodshed to be over the top or graphic, however. The dialogue is filled with scorned woman talk, spite, and drama, with Melinda as a constant source of a sharp barb or stinging remark. Henson is so perfect for this role, as she makes even simple lines seem like they drip with poison, which is ideal for this character. She has most of the best lines and delivers them with spot on skills, so all the melodrama hits at full speed. As for craziness, Melinda is a force of nature and is never shy about clapping back when she is hurt or angry, so she is unpredictable and capable of just about anything. Her unstable presence adds some real and frequent madness, especially given the dark, nasty approach taken.
Overall Insanity: 6/10