Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Home MICHIGAN With 'A Jazzman's Blues,' Tyler Perry looks forward by looking back

With ‘A Jazzman’s Blues,’ Tyler Perry looks forward by looking back

Forbidden love, the racism of the deep South and a thorny murder-mystery are the ingredients of Tyler Perry’s “A Jazzman’s Blues,” the writer-director’s epic drama where Madea is, thankfully, nowhere to be found.

Perry traffics in heavy melodrama here and his execution is often surface-level and obvious. But it’s never dull, and the scope of his story well exceeds his usual vision. “A Jazzman’s Blues” marks a change for Perry and it feels, in many ways, like the movie he’s been waiting to make forever.

In one sense, that’s true. Perry originally conceived the film in 1995, the first script he ever wrote, and he’s been sitting on it ever since. He nearly made it in the mid-’00s, just as his film career began to take off, but he’s now tackling it as his 23rd film as director. The tale is steeped in so much history that its elements are evergreen.

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