ACRIMONY: A Synopsis
– By Olaoluwa Olorunfemi
Unless you have been living under a rock or have run out of data (well, we would not blame you, considering the speed MTN data subscription runs out these days), you must have come across the word “Acrimony”, either on WhatsApp statuses, Twitter or even Facebook. This might have led you to wondering: “What is this about and why is it trending all over the place?”. Well, have no fear. Your friendly neighbourhood ABH Press is here to give you its unique insight into the story.
“Acrimony” is a psychological thriller produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry(yeah, that Madea guy) and stars Taraji P. Henson (Cookie of the series “Empire”) as Melinda and Lyriq Bent(Robert) as the in-love female and male protagonists respectively while Crystle Stewart(Diana), Jazmyn Simon(June), Ptosha Storey(Brenda) amongst others make up the major supporting cast. Acrimony is a heart-wrenching story of love, sacrifice, betrayal, anger, heartbreak and above all, the profound impact that choices made have on our lives.
The majority of the story is told in the first-person point of view from Melinda’s eyes and kicks off in the court-room when a judge reiterates a restraining order filed against her and also orders professional help ie therapy as a prerequisite to staying out of jail. In a bid to help her out, the therapist urges Melinda to share her story during therapy. She then relates how she met Robert Gayle, a broke, struggling entrepreneurial Mechanical Engineering undergraduate who spends most of his time perfecting a self-recharging battery and how he swept her off her feet in a whirlwind of romance. His coming into her life at a time of great emotional vulnerability(her mother just died!) does not help matters as he proves to be a growing wedge between her and her sisters(Brenda and June) while promising her a life together of wealth and glamour.
In a bid to keep their love afloat, Melinda sacrifices a lot for Robert as she spends most of the $350,000 that was her mother’s life insurance on him. She buys him a car(worth about $28,000) amongst other things. The bubble first bursts when “on woman’s intuiton”, she drives down to his house and catches him cheating with Diana. She goes into a murderous rage and knocks down the Recreational Vehicle(RV) that he lives in but hurts herself in the process, leading to her having a full hysterectomy before age 21! (I’m guessing some people are scratching their heads at this point, wondering what it means. Google away, fam!).
Well, due to the vagaries of love, she takes him back into her life and then….wait for it, fam…. pays for his final two semesters in college! Pretty crazy stuff, right? It is just weird how far we are willing to stretch ourselves all in the name of love. Anyways, back to our gist, he then proposes to her with a 24-carat plastic ring, promising to replace with a diamond ring much later(At this point, I started believing Robert had Yoruba-demon genes encoded in him, so sleek with his sugar-coated tongue). After getting married in a wedding with all her family members absent, he moves into HER house(who does that?!) but does not contribute anything to the marriage over the course of the next eighteen years while she has to work TWO jobs just to keep the family afloat! She finally spends the last of the $350,000 on re-wiring the house after his failed experiment almost sets the entire house on fire.
After failing three recruitments, he then confesses to her that he was a convicted felon which limits his job opportunities. Immediately AFTER this conversation, he convinces her to mortgage her mother’s house just for the sake of the battery!(still more Yoruba-demonhood on display).
****** If you are getting bored, hang on tight. This is where it gets interesting *******
While trying to get an interview with Prescott and Howard Industries to convince them to buy his battery, he runs into Diana again (the lady he cheated on Melinda with; rhymes with Delilah, by the way) who gives him her card to contact her. After an emotional night where Melinda’s sisters disclose that their house is about to be foreclosed(Google again, fam), Robert is forced to take a delivery job with his in-laws on the condition that he must never miss a delivery and yet still blames HER for not defending him to her family.
Robert is told to deliver a consignment to his in-law’s biggest client when he receives a call from Prescott Industries inviting him to an interview which was set up by Diana.He then abandons the delivery job in order to pick the battery prototype from his home. Meanwhile, Brenda finds Diane’s purse in Robert’s delivery truck and urges Melinda to confront Robert about it. On confronting him, he tells her he has to leave for the interview, leaving no time for explanations between them. At the interview, Robert is offered a deal worth $800,000 to forfeit all rights to his battery which he politely declines. On getting back home, he insists that he did not cheat on her again but is met with the news that his in-laws lost their biggest client due to his actions and matters are not made easier when they hear he rejected the deal.
Melinda plans on divorcing Robert and chases him out, leaving him to work at a restaurant while living in a homeless shelter. After finalising the divorce despite repeated pleas and begging by Robert, Diana picks up Robert and moves him into her home. Fortune then smiles on Robert when Diana wakes him up with the good news that he had been offered a deal worth hundreds of millions by Prescott Industries. On getting this, Robert goes to Melinda’s office with a bouquet and offers her a $10,000,000 cheque and the keys to her mother’s house while expressing regret over the way things ended between them(charming deed there, actually). Melinda then goes back to Robert, throwing her body at him only to discover that he is engaged to Diana(Men are scum!). Melinda then goes crazy, believing that Diane had stolen what rightfully belonged to her. She stalks her over social media, leaving over 3000 comments on Diana’s posts while mutilating pictures of her and Robert. Robert seeks a court injunction, invoking a restraining order on Melinda. By the way, Melinda burnt Diana’s wedding dress with acid too(I told you she was crazy).
Melinda finally goes over the edge and sneaks onto the Gayle’s yacht and shoots Robert in the abdomen and also tries to kill Diana who escapes. While trying to finish the job on Robert with an axe, Melissa is drowned by entanglement with the anchor while Robert dies from the injuries sustained.
This movie brings a lot of questions to mind: What is permissible in the name of love? How much of our partners’ errors can we take before speaking out? Was Robert at fault for not appealing the divorce?
A controversial story by Tyler Perry which shows the uglier side of love and backed up with fantastic acting by Taraji P. Henson, Acrimony is definitely a movie which would leave you with more questions than answers.
Who do you think is to blame? Robert , Diana, Melinda or her sisters? Do well to let us know in the Comment Section below!