In the past week, I have caught the movie PLAIN DIRTY on cable two times, and each time, I was enthralled by it.
Set in Louisiana, PLAIN DIRTY is about a Inez Macbeth, a young married woman who practically lives in the swamplands with her husband, Edgar. When her feelings toward her husband go south, she begins to have an affair with a wealthy lawyer. Edgar finds out and begins to brutalize Inez, beating her and keeping her locked up in the home. He has his best friend, Flowers watch Inez when he goes away from the home, and a friendship of sorts grows between Flowers and Inez, a friendship with murderous and possibly romantic intentions.
To say I was captivated by this movie is an understatement. The soundtrack was perfect for the film, and the acting was superb. What intrigued me the most is how distinct and well-rounded these three main characters are.
Edgar, a petty thief with aspirations of improving his lot, abuses Inez when he finds out that she’s having an affair. Despite this, one can’t help but to feel for him. He wants better. He wants better for not only him, but for Inez as well. It tortures him to know that Inez chose a well-off man over him. It kills him that he can’t be a better man, that he has to be looked down upon by those in the community. Though you will hate him for his actions, somewhere, deep in places we you may not want to talk about, you may petty him, even feel for him.
Inez is an interesting character. She’s young. Feisty. Scared. We can see that she is lonely. With her loneliness and her station in life, we can see why she might have chosen to have an affair, especially an affair with a wealthy man. To her, this means that she has arrived; she is somebody. We understand why she wants to leave when Edgar becomes abusive. We can empathize with her hatred and her vengeful ways and her frightened realizations that she could get in trouble for the wrongs she has made.
Then there’s Flowers, my favorite character. He’s quiet. He’s faithful, first to Edgar, and then to Inez. He does love Edgar, but his love for Inez is what causes him to set particular plans in motion within the story. As a police woman says to Flowers in the story, he is the eyes and ears of the community; he is the person that ultimately, can destroy people…or help them. That only makes him a damn interesting character.
PLAIN DIRTY has strong, poetic dialogue. There were several times I had to pause, repeat what was said, and go, “Mmm.” I felt those words in my gut and heart. They felt right to this story.
Though I did, at times, have an issue with the slipping in and out of dialect for the main characters, I have to say that, that is a small price to pay for a movie as moving and disturbing and lovely as PLAIN DIRTY.
You definitely want to check it out.