Friday, April 4, 2014

Devil in a BLUE Dress AtoZChallenge D-Day

My take on DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS is that it is a terrific model for writers. It has a likeable, believably flawed protagonist, a unique setting within a clich├ęd city, and a plot with a few good twists. 

Walter Mosley’s novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, with protagonist Easy Rawlins was published in June 1990. It was the basis for the 1995 movie starting Denzel Washington.
 I liked the book enough to watch the movie, and promptly liked the movie even better. Movies have a tendency to simplify the plot, or else the visual effects clarify the story line for me. Either way, the hard-boiled action of Mosley’s murder mystery entertained me. 

Los Angeles, 1948, before the Civil Rights Movement, is the setting. It is speakeasies and Blatz beer. Protagonist Easy (Ezekiel) Rawlins is down on his luck after getting fired from his job and he is willing to do most anything to come up with the monthly mortgage payment on his house, the only thing he is proud of owning. 

Easy’s not a boozing, lost soul or a super hero. When the novel came out in 1990, he represented a new type of noir genre main character. Readers may not relate to him directly, but we can understand his motivation to hold onto his property, and his pride. For anyone who has ever been in need of a fast buck, agreeing to find a white woman who has a "predilection for pigs' feet and dark meat" is understandable, knowing that the quick job and fast $100.00 payoff will keep a dream as a home owner alive. 

In this murder mystery, even when Easy calls on his lifelong buddy, Mouse, to help him when things start to slip sideways seems like a reasonable decision. After all, what could go wrong?
It isn't "Friday the 13th", but is it possible that 4/4/14 is a good sign?



  1. I think I might have to rent that now. I'm a Denzel Washington fan...
    Thanks for visiting Life is Good the other day...I'm way behind on returning visits, unfortunately. It's really nice to see my blog in your sidebar - thanks SO much!
    I wish you all the best in the Challenge! On with the rounds...over 2100 this will I ever make it? It's all good fun though.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

  2. Thanks for visiting, Tina. Can't imagine how you will visit 2100 blog sites in April. More like a goal for 2014. Every site I visit grabs my attention.

  3. This is a great novel and movie. one of my favorite Denzel performances.

  4. I read that and remember figuring out the lady in the blue dress' secret very quickly

  5. I agree, Mel. He seemed made for the role.

    Kristin, you must have a knack, I never seem to figure out the 'whodunit' until the end!

    Thanks for visiting and see you at your next post.

  6. Hi Gail. It's Sarah over here. I've just discovered your blog :-)

    Now I'm kind of curious to see the film. I did read the book a while back and... well, I thought the idea was fantastic, but I didn't particularly like the execution, to be honest. I had a hard time relating to the characters, particularly the female main character. I don't know. From the setting and the premise, I was expecting a bit more.

    I'm not a fan of Danzel Washington either... so you may wonder why would I watch the movie.
    Say, isn't the setting just so cool? ;-)

  7. I agree, Sarah, it is hard to resist the setting. The movie pulls it off so you feel as though you lived in the era. You might appreciate Mr. Washington's performance in this particular movie, also. No gansta act, no airs, just a guy trying to get by.


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