I finally watched Tyler Perry’s most talked-about psychological thriller Acrimony. This is definitely the best film of Tyler Perry that I have ever watched, and Taraji P Henson who plays Melinda did so much justice to the script. After reading reviews about how this bad ungrateful black man betrayed his loving loyal black wife, I could not wait to see it. Last night I decided to watch the film ready to sympathise with a betrayed woman, and I got my husband to watch it with me so he could also see how bad black men treat their most loyal wives. I didn’t tell him that I already kinda knew the plot, I was just like, “Babe, let’s watch this movie.” I do that sometimes when I want to convey a certain message to him, especially things we debate about.
However, halfway through the film, I then realised that I was watching a totally different film from what I had read about or what the movie trailer actually describes. I was even confused if this Acrimony is the one black women say the man was in the wrong. I don’t know whether Tyler Perry intended to get his audience to feel that way about the movie, considering his audience is made up of mostly black women? I have no idea why the word betrayal is even mentioned in the description. If you are level headed, the film leaves you disappointed because you watch it expecting to sympathise with a woman betrayed. However, there is no betrayal of a woman anywhere in the film, in fact, the very opposite is true.
The irony of it is that the film is actually a hard lesson to black women on how not to behave.
It should have been titled, “How Black women tear down their houses with their own hands.” Whether Tyler Perry intended it or not, that is actually the moral lesson of the film. I see the movie as the work of the Holy Spirit. I love it because it is so real for black couples.
Acrimony reminded me of one of my former Zimbabwean best friends, I will call her Wendy. Today Wendy is a single mother and her ex-husband Daniel is happily married, with a wife who enjoys the fruits of Wendy’s labour. Daniel’s life definitely excelled after their divorce. Wendy is the one who chose to leave her matrimonial house to move in with her brother, listening to her siblings who were against the marriage. Wendy and Daniel had been through so much together. Like in Acrimony, Daniel had also cheated on Wendy at the beginning of their relationship, then he chose her over the other girls and she forgave him. She suffered so much for him because his family didn’t like her, just like her siblings didn’t also like him. Just like in Acrimony, her sisters did not attend her wedding. So, after all they had been through together for years, when she left him because she couldn’t cope anymore, he was heartbroken and lost.
Daniel did not want Wendy to leave him and begged her to come back home. She refused. He became so sad and depressed, he hit rock bottom without his wife. However during the time he was depressed, he met another woman, and she lifted him up. She had a good career. She was definitely an upgrade from Wendy. She took hold of Daniel and before everyone knew it, she was pregnant. Daniel started driving nicer cars, living a better life with his pregnant fiance. Suddenly Wendy then wanted her husband back, she begged and asked him back, but it was too late. Today when you see Wendy, it’s a sad sight. You would think Tyler Perry took the script from her life story.
This film is a moral lesson to black women. It doesn’t really apply to white women or women of other races. Their men are often financially okay when they begin, they have inheritances from their fathers and society is kinder to them. Our black men do not have anything really when they are becoming from boys to men, they are often broke and dreamers. If he is your high school sweetheart, he is probably just a dreamer, like depicted in the film.
So here are the moral lessons I depicted from the film…
Moral lesson number 1
Dreams and inner ambitions are often stupid and laughable, especially those of black people. They don’t make sense at all to people. A dream only makes sense when it is achieved. Even Tyler Perry’s own life story testifies of this reality. Every black man needs a black woman who believes in his most stupid and unrealistic dream. Ambitious black man are often misunderstood for being lazy and losers. That is the moral lesson of Acrimony. Melinda failed to believe in the dreams of her husband when it really mattered.
Moral lesson number 2
Never leave a man whom you love, there is just no point in that, you will suffer for it, especially when the man doesn’t want you to leave and begs you to stay. A lot of black women leave their men because of foolish motivational messages from other foolish women who tells them to “know their worth”. A woman was not created to know her worth, a woman was created from a rib of a man so she becomes his helper. That is the purpose of a woman, especially a black woman. Melinda should not have divorced her husband, there was no justification for that divorce. She had already given so much to her husband, to the point of losing her house. She had already forgiven him for cheating at the beginning of their relationship, but she gave up at the very end, when she was just about to win.
Moral lesson number 3
If a man tells you that he loves you, if there’s sincerity in his voice and spirit, believe him. There is power in trust and faith. Surely you know your man enough to understand that his words mean something or nothing. Robert genuinely loved his wife.
Moral lesson number 4
Never listen to your friends or siblings about the love of your life. When all is said and done, when they finish giving you bad advice, they go back to their houses and you are on your own. Melinda should have never listened to her sisters, they destroyed her.
Moral lesson number 5
I wrote about this years ago,never leave your husband for cheating, especially if you still love him and he loves you. If you think you are fixing your husband by leaving him, or the grass will be greener on the other side, it’s not. When you leave him, you are literally handing the man you love to another woman, and you will suffer for it when you see them happy together. I have seen this so many times in life. I have never seen a single woman who left her husband for a cheating incident and went on to marry her prince charming.
Moral lesson number 6
Lastly, no man is ever going to be perfect. He will be a jerk sometimes. Just like you are a bitch sometimes. That is the sad reality of life. Robert was sometimes a jerk, but he was her jerk. Sometimes you look at your man and say, he’s such an idiot, but he is my idiot, especially if that idiot loves you to the moon and back. We women are not angels, though somehow we always believe that we are morally better than men, yet because of the woman, the man fell. We are also a pain in their backsides, but they also feel like, “She’s a pain, but I love her.” That is what love is all about, you don’t give up on your partner when it matters the most. Melinda gave up on Robert, then he, in turn, gave up on her because she had given up on him. Maybe Robert was wrong too, but even if he was, she quickly slept with another man, and didnt give herself time.
However, my heart really melted at my King’s reaction to the movie. He had so much sympathy for Melinda, and he felt like if he was Robert, he would not have moved on so quickly, but he would have waited a few years for his wife and win her back, provided she hasnt defiled herself with another man, he said. Isn’t that the sweetest thing a man can say?
My King went on to say even if he had met someone else, when Melinda came back, he would have taken her back, and would have told his new woman that this was his first love, his rib, and she deserved to enjoy the fruits of her labour and would have married both of them. He said he would never let the woman he loves suffer like that. But I told him it would never work, because there is no way Melinda would agree to be a second wife after having been the Queen.
So for me, the lesson here is not for the men, but for the women. Just never leave the man you still love…endure to the end. Nobody ever said love was easy. If you leave, another woman will definitely enjoy the fruits of your labour, there are no two ways about it, and you will not be able to mentally or physically stomach it.
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Mary-Tamar was Jean