Rated: R for language, sexual content and some violence. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: March 30, 2018 Released by: Lions Gate Films
Tyler Perry wrote and directed this film around Melinda played with significant range by Traji P. Henson as a wife who wears out from the pressure of over work and a husband who believes in his invention to the exclusion of all other needs in their marriage
Henson's Melinda begins the film played by Ajiona Alexus as her younger self attending school living with her mom and supported by her sisters. She accidentally meets Robert played by Antonio Madison in the early years and Lyriq Bent later. Following initial resistance she falls for his appeal and his commitment to his invention which can save electricity when fully developed.
Melinda and Robert marry over the objections of her sisters and some of her own hesitation. Robert works at his invention and she works to support their home which she inherited from her mother and uses three hundred thousand dollars she also inherited to support Robert's dream. One day as she washes her face the towel moves from her face and she is no longer young but an adult in Henson's body. Eighteen years have passed and the couple is in the same spiral, she works at two jobs and he invents at home. He eventually gets his hands on the value of the house and they are in debt and under threat of loosing everything including the family home. At times she appears to be so vulnerable and manipulated by Robert we begin to laugh at the steps down the couple take.
Melinda appears willing to continue with the dreary life she has chosen because it is held together by love. When Robert takes an acton which appears to be cheating on her piled on the weariness of her work schedule over many years she ends the relationship, even when he explains he is close to a deal to sell his idea and make a solid profit. Following his refusal to sell his idea for eight thousand dollars (because he believes it is worth much more) she falls to her dark side.
Her change is significant she becomes a completely different person and we view his through alternate visions than in the earlier parts of the story. Perry changes her appearance simply by using less light and dark lip stick on her face. Melinda has fallen into a very dark world. Traji P. Henson can play any character effectively, but here the change is wider than logic.
Melinda's evolution from a confident happy young woman to what she becomes is caused by the drain of constant work, her willingness to not trust her husband, and listening to relatives who place ideas in her mind, it's a little like Othello when it becomes too late to save her existence.