Review: Chestnut, Hall Shine in “Bough Breaks”

Alexsis Page
Staff Writer

“When the Bough Breaks” is about a young and successful couple desperately searching for the right surrogate so they can have their first child. After finding, who they think is a perfect match; their dream surrogate becomes a dangerous nightmare as her obsession with the husband turns into an unhealthy relationship. Now the couple must figure out what is best for their unborn child’s life that rests in the hands of a mad woman.

This film falls under the thriller genre. It was beautifully shot by director Jon Cassar, who is known for his work on the FOX action drama series “24.”

During its opening weekend, “When the Bough Breaks” earned $15 million at the box office, following “Sully” which stars Tom Hanks as the lead that pulled in $35.5 million.

The character-based film is headed by Jaz Sinclair who plays surrogate Anna Walsh. Sinclair does a fantastic job of portraying an innocent, damaged and crazy character all in less than two hours.

There are a few moments in the film where her crazy antics do not necessarily make sense with the plot but nonetheless makes the audience worried about the safety of the unborn child. By the end of the film one will believe that Sinclair’s character is out of her mind.

Married couple John and Laura Taylor are played by Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall and are the highlights of the film.

Chestnut is known for playing heartthrob-like characters after making his debut in the 1991 movie “Boyz n the Hood.” He earned two NAACP Image Award Nominations for television roles in “Nurse Jackie” and “Rosewood,” the latter earning him the award.

His casting fits perfectly with this film because the surrogate is supposed to fall crazy in love with his character. John is the character with the most problems to deal with in the film and his conflicts provide a nice connection in the movie.

As for Hall, she is most known for her comedic roles in film, particularly her time as Brenda Meeks in the “Scary Movie” parody franchise.

It was very refreshing to see her play a dramatic character. Serious is a face that fits her well and similar future roles are welcomed.

It is not the first time these two seasoned actors have been in a film together. They both starred in “The Best Man” and its sequel “Best Man Holiday.”

The current film marks the first time they played leads opposite each other. When it comes to movies not centered on a romantic theme, the couple’s chemistry can feel unrealistic.

“When the Bough Breaks” shows snippets where the couple is loving, and the audience can see their relationship grow.

Another positive aspect of “When the Bough Breaks” is the smooth pacing and timing even though the trailer appears rushed. After the couple selects their surrogate, a clear baby bump is not seen until about 45 minutes into the film.

As the belly gets bigger, the plot gets crazier, and soon the baby becomes a time bomb.

Unexpected bonuses to this film are the supporting characters. They are not onscreen long enough to distract from the plot, but they act as guidelines who move the plot into the next direction.

Everyone in this film has a purpose, whether it is to give background information or just to cause tension between the characters. However, the twists and suspense aspect of the film could have been bigger.

This film is emotionally focused. Something happens and then the next scene will show the emotional toll of that situation.

This film might not be for everyone, but for fans of the trailer, it will not disappoint.

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