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The events happen in a small Ohio town where entertainment is almost non-existent, making teens view drinking as the only way to fight boredom. Maggie is a teen who moved here with her mother, and despite being levelheaded, sheís desperate to make friends. She connects with a group whoís into drinking. Problem is, there is nowhere to do it, but one day, a seemingly cool and understanding adult Sue Ann offers her basement for teens to have fun safely.
At first, Maggie and her friends are ecstatic, but the more time passes, the more they realize that Sue Ann, who they call Ma, is not what she seems. She steals, lies, stalks, and acts obsessively. When danger blossoms, teens find themselves helpless in the face of the unexpected and passionate rage Ma possesses.
Good and bad sides of Ma
Ma has both good and bad sides. Letís focus on the good ones first.
∑ Thereís a stunning performance. Maggieís awkwardness is incredibly genuine while Maís mood swings are downright creepy and heartbreaking.
∑ Suspense is strong. Maís behavior makes her mysterious, and the more you watch her, the tenser things get as you try to figure out when the trap around the teens finally closes.
∑ Pacing is effective. The movie is interesting and captivating to watch, everything flows smoothly.
What about bad sides? There are a few, and sadly, they are major enough to make this movie a one-time watch only.
∑ Premise. The movie is based on Maís desperate need for revenge against people who hurt and humiliated her back in her school days. Itís trivial and its execution doesnít present anything new.
∑ Justification. Ma is gradually shown as deeply traumatized, consumed by her revenge, but itís not clear why she remained inactive for so long even though sheís been living in the town with her abusers for decades. She seems to be well until she meets her abuserís son and becomes suddenly obsessed. The town is small, has she never seen him before? Why did she snap only now?
∑ No lesson. Maís abusers donít seem to have learned a thing. They beg for mercy but genuine character growth is absent, which makes the movie seem pointless.
Ma is an interesting movie. Unfortunately, its weak points ruin what could be a masterpiece. Itís still worth watching, though, even if only once.
Published July 11, 2019