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The likable career of an experimenter and social activist with a blockbuster name received an Oscar award four years ago. Engaged slave girl 12 years in chains was exactly the picture that they must love overseas, and Steve McQueen sticks to the proven trend in his new thriller. The black theme is on the scene again, this time in an overwhelming combination with girl power. This could make some bald guy jingle again.

At first glance, the acting ensemble, which has grown considerably even since the busy 12 years in the chains – Liam Neeson, Jon Bernthal, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Colin Farrell and especially Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon and Elizabeth Debicki is captivating. It’s clear from this line-up that every shot is brimming with charisma, and at the end of the more than two-hour ride, you’ll be a little sorry that some of the nice guys didn’t get more space.

At first, we witness the unsuccessful action of a quartet of thieves, of whom the uncompromising police make a mess. Viola Davis, the movie wife of the central robber Liam Neeson, begins to be blackmailed by black mobsters who, by the way, also run for local elections. Therefore, the newly widows partner joins other surviving partners, and the women have to get their hands dirty together to solve the problems left behind by their husbands.

Steve McQueen shows a strong directorial hand, especially in the first third, when he is not afraid of radical cuts or unlooked-for camera movements, thereby quickly drawing the viewer into the story and, unexpectedly, elegantly conveying orientation in a large number of characters and their relational entanglements. However, it gradually recedes into the background and lets the pieces on the chessboard stand out on their own. Such a principle turns out to be completely functional, and after McQueen’s previous, somewhat calculated Oscar run, perhaps no one can deny that he has a great sense of cinematography.

McQueen shows contemporary Chicago as a place full of morally non-black and white characters; on the other hand, in terms of skin color, black and white are also complemented by Hispanics, creating a standard American mix of disaffected minorities and conservative white rich people, between whom things are logically boiling. However, most of the characters have an understandable motivation and aim for a reasonable goal, and their clash is all the more fatal and intense. Violence is not the focus here, although at times McQueen intentionally shocks the viewer.

The genre mix offers a few comedic moments, but otherwise it’s a gritty thriller with a framework heist story and many nods towards social drama. Just on the central trio of heroines, consisting of a black woman, a Hispanic woman and a Polish immigrant, the effort to capture strong women across ethnicities is evident. McQueen thus throws down a multi-colored gauntlet to the Oscar Academy, but it would be unfair to condemn Widows as a multi-cult campaign; with the help of strong filmmaking techniques, he also builds a functional thriller, to which the social level only adds even more depth.

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