Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa
Mea Culpa
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Story: Mea Harper (Kelly Rowland), a criminal defense attorney, takes up a case to defend a celebrated and charming artist, Zyair Malloy (Trevante Rhodes) accused of murdering his girlfriend. Despite being an ace lawyer, Mea finds the lines blurring between professional and personal, when she starts to fall for him.

Review: ‘Mea Culpa’ opens with Mea in a couple’s counseling session with her husband, Kal (Sean Sagar). The session gets heated as Mea suspects Kal of having an affair and it doesn’t help that he leaves abruptly to join his mother’s birthday celebrations. Enter Azalia (Kerry O’Malley), Mea’s abrasive mother-in-law, who talks down to her, openly suggesting that Kal should have married someone else instead. They are joined by her older son, Ray (Nick Sagar), the assistant DA and his wife and Mea’s dear friend, Charlise (Shannon Thorton). Mea’s problems in her marriage don’t just end there – Kal is also unemployed and in rehab for drug addiction. So when the opportunity to defend Zyair Malloy presents itself, she takes it up mostly because she needs the money and also to defy her brother-in-law, who explicitly tells her not to take up the case as he is the prosecuting attorney.

‘Mea Culpa’ has been produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry, who sets up a convenient plot to dish out an 80s style erotic-thriller. While Mea tries to be a professional and not succumb to Zyair’s seductive charm; circumstances lead her to do just that. And so one moment of uncontrolled emotion puts both job/professional life on jeopardy.

And things just go deeper downhill from there on towards an outrageous climax as revelations start popping up by minute. But even before one gets into the climax point; there is enough temptation to abandon the movie halfway. The writing is bad and cliche with corny dialogues and convenient plot points. Other than that it’s just a way of igniting forbidden passion in this movie, why Mea has not walked out on her husband’s abominable family is anyone’s guess. While the film gives us some erotica, there was no chemistry between Kelly Rowland and Trevante Rhodes which is a bit of a dampener on their scenes together. Hot mess works for the intrigue and thrill as the murder mystery unravels itself.

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