This is a piece of theatre. You could be forgiven for thinking you were watching a National Theatre Live screening. It’s probably a result of the relatively fixed staging – I can only recall a couple of scenes that weren’t either in the house or the yard.
I felt challenged by the character of Troy and how he was handled by the other main players in the story. Come the end, it seemed I was supposed to sympathise with his predicament and was apparently presented with justification for his behaviour. But all I saw was a bully, and there’s no justification for that.
The acting, as you would expect, is top notch. But I think Denzel Washington has a long way to go in his education as a director. It seems he’s missed an opportunity here to do something more innovative than simply film a stage play.