Television, Movie and Play Reviews

Reviewed by Rick McMahan

DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS stars Denzel Washington and Jennifer Beals.

With DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, Denzel Washington brings Walter Mosley's character, Easy Rawlins into the movies. Set in post-World War II California, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is reminiscent of CHINATOWN and THE TWO JAKES, two modern adaptations of period noir mysteries. The difference is that with Walter Mosley's adaptation, not only does the protagonist have the problem of solving the mystery, but there's the added complication of the prejudice and division of America during a not so distant past in history.

DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS opens with Easy Rawlins unemployed and needing money for his house payment which is steadily approaching. Of course, one of Easy's friends steers a job Easy's way. A man wants Easy to find someone.

All he has to do is find the "Devil in the Blue dress" who is a white woman, and former associate of a mayoral candidate. This white woman likes socializing with blacks in black clubs, so Easy is asked to track her down and then just deliver a message. Easy needs the money to keep bill collectors away, so he takes the job. Within twenty four hours of taking the job, one of Easy's friends who knew the lady turns up dead. Now, Easy is not only trying to find the lady in the dress, but he wants to know why his friend was killed. so we're off and running. DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS has well-timed dialogue and pace of scenes, not to mention interesting characters, especially Easy's murderous friend and companion, Ratt.

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