The legal system might seem like an unusual topic to cover for a creative who is only known for comedy. But for somebody looking for a chance to expand their repertoire, the tales of the presumed guilty might be the tale that is worth telling. In 2020, Tyler Perry and his production company looked such a complex behemoth, from the perspective of one case to its shocking conclusion in A Fall From Grace.
When a high-profile murder suspect, Grace Waters, wants a guilty plea deal, freshly qualified public defender Jasmin Bryant is assigned to the case, thinking it should be open and shut. As more details become revealed Jasmin becomes convinced that she should fight. It does not stop there as more twists are continually brought to light, it becomes even more apparent that all the supposed events are not what they first appear, and Jasmin might be in way over her head.
Such a fascinating story is brought to life by its cast, and Perry’s production company has sourced some strappingly fitting actors to inhabit these roles. Crystal R. Fox springs to mind as Grace Waters who practically steals the show as we watch her character’s transformation from optimistic lover to nihilistic convict. I do not want to delve into potential spoilers, but Mehcad Brooks is also effective as alleged victim Shannon and manages to fill the audience with doubt over his motives and his Jekyll and Hyde transformation. Even Perry who himself has a small part as Jasmin’s boss, managing to bring some levity in his characterisation, that is greatly appreciated.
All is not what it seems as the shocking details of the case come to light, and it is here towards the end that A Fall From Grace picks up, the film provides an abundance of tonal perspectives as the drama unfolds and as such, The audience is treated to a variety of perspectives, from Jasmin’s family to those who knew the victim and suspects. Casting shadows on the real concerns of this struggling public defender trying to ascertain if she is in over her head or not. Let alone the actual elements of the case that are more shocking and outrageous as fiction usually allows.
A Fall from Grace is an interesting fiction that is entertaining from the titles to the credits. The cast helps this wild case reach the heady heights that it deserves and tackle the emotional changes a story like this provides. A peculiar subject to tackle for comedic veteran Perry to dedicate to creating, but it is here that we see Tyler Perry make further strides into dramatic territory, Time will tell that hopefully, this decision is anything but A Fall From Grace.
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