Starring Elle Lorraine, Jay Pharoah, Lena Waithe, Kelly Rowland, Laverne Cox, Chanté Adams, James Van DerBeek, Usher Raymond IV, Blair Underwood, and Vanessa Williams.
Directed by Justin Simien
Rating: * ½
Okay, I know this film has been appreciated by a lot of critics.And to be honest , I do sense there is a deep dark devilish message in the battle that ensues between the film’s young adrift heroine Anna(Elle Lorraine) and…. her new hair weave!!
Yes, you heard right! The entire focus of the satirical horror quirky-kinky tale is on Anna’s new hair weave that she’s forced to get for herself after her new slinky boss at her workplace advises the frumpy but talented nondescript mousy Anna to change her hair.Anna enters a supernatural salon run by a lady whom I’d never trust with my hair(whatever is left of it) .
Anna’s life is never the same again as her new hairstyle acquires a life of its own. And not a very likeable life. Bad hair is a film that tries to be funny and scary.I found it to be neither. Just sad. And sad not entirely in a wrong way. The heroine’s desolation reminded me of KalkiKoechlin in Anurag Kashyap’s The Girl In Yellow Boots…Don’t know why. The two women are worlds apart and yet joined at the hip by their desolation and restlessness.
I wish director Justin Simien had explored suburban loneliness with more seriousness rather than taken us through a fitful journey of frights and folklore. There is way too much ambition at work in the plot and too little imagination in the execution. The scenes of the hair doing its own weave are hardly hair-raising .The SFX are so clumsily done they made me cringe.
What I liked was the idea of not tampering with your normal hair just to look more mainstream.Somewhere deep in the tangles of the hair-weave this film is about Black cultural pride. But to get there we need to wade through reams of plodding plot propulsion.And not of particularly enlightening kind.
Commendable for its quirky idea, Bad Hair finally seems like a bad idea all wrapped up in a sense of misplaced self-importance .