Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 99 minutes
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Bishop T.D. Jakes is one of the more effective and charismatic preachers to praise the Lord on television. But what works on the small screen does not necessarily translate to the big screen, and the good bishop has a bad movie in “Woman, Thou Art Loosed.” Based on his novel and stage play, “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” is strictly a feature film masquerading as a commercial for Bishop Jakes’ ministry.
The focus of the film is a young woman (Kimberly Elise) whose childhood molestation at the hands of her mother’s abusive boyfriend warps her into an adulthood of drugs, prostitution and a stretch in prison. Paroled by the intervention of Bishop Jakes, she has a difficult time trying to make the transition back to the free world. With the help of the bishop’s church, she attempts to purge herself of the demons and memories which continue to ruin her life.
Humility and sincerity are supposed to be the basic tenets of the Christian lifestyle, but Bishop Jakes seems to be in short supply of these traits, at least as far as this film is concerned. “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” is not about finding the way to salvation through the teachings of Jesus Christ, but rather it focuses on finding the way to salvation through his particular church. This is not about praising the Lord, but praising the Lord and Bishop Jakes – and not always in that order! While I admire Bishop Jakes and I frequently watch his sermons on TV, I have to question his tactic of charging people admission to generate hosannas on his behalf.
The film is helmed by Michael Schultz, who directed the 1976 raucous comedy classic “Car Wash.” Schultz has not lost his knack for broad racial humor, but in this film his depiction of the stereotypes in the African-American community seem a bit too broad for comfort â€“ especially for a film that deals with heavy material including child abuse and emotional trauma. It also does not help that the film indulges in nasty jokes involving Koreans and homosexuals. For a feature that advocates a Christian answer, the message of insult-thy-neighbor seems quite out of place.
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Posted on March 28, 2005 in Reviews by Phil Hall
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