“The Burial,” available on Prime Video, is a captivating and emotionally charged film inspired by true events that explores the complexities of honor, betrayal, and redemption. Directed by Maggie Betts and led by a stellar cast, including the charismatic Jamie Foxx, this movie takes viewers on a rollercoaster of emotions while shedding light on the consequences of a handshake deal gone terribly wrong.
The story revolves around Jeremiah O’Keefe, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones, a small-town funeral home owner with a reputation for integrity and an unwavering commitment to his family. When Jeremiah enters into a handshake agreement with a seemingly trustworthy businessman, little does he know that his life is about to take a dramatic and nightmarish turn. He calls on charismatic attorney, Willie E. Gary, portrayed by Jamie Foxx.
One of the strengths of “The Burial” lies in its ability to draw audiences into Jeremiah and Willie’s world, portraying their unlikely friendship as deeply relatable. Jamie Foxx’s performance is nothing short of exceptional, as he effortlessly navigates the emotional nuances of his character, showcasing the depth of his talent.
The film’s exploration of the consequences of trust and the ramifications of betrayal is both poignant and thought-provoking. It delves into the grey areas of morality, making viewers question their own judgments and actions in similar situations. More importantly, the film looks at how a multi-million dollar corporation took advantage of poor and disenfranchised communities during their most vulnerable times of grief. The disturbing racist implications of a deal made with the Black National Baptist Convention (NBC), enabled Loewen to buy NBC’s graveyards and use Black church workers as sales agents to sell Loewen burial contracts in financially underprivileged areas. The tension builds steadily throughout the movie, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats as they witness Jeremiah’s fight for justice and redemption.
The supporting cast delivers strong performances, adding layers to the narrative and helping to create a believable and immersive world. A personal favorite, Jurnee Smollett, portrayed Mame Downs, an esteemed, high-powered lawyer representing Ray Loewen, played by Bill Camp. Also known as “The Python,” she graduated at the top of her class from Harvard Law and dominates in the courtroom. The cinematography and production effectively captures the atmosphere of the small town and its close-knit community in Hinds County, Mississippi, which is 73% Black.
It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of trust, integrity, and the enduring human spirit in the face of adversity. Jamie Foxx’s stellar performance, coupled with a compelling storyline, makes this film a must-watch for those seeking a riveting tale of betrayal and redemption. “The Burial” leaves a lasting impression, prompting reflection on the choices we make and the values we hold dear in our own lives.
Producers: Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Jamie Foxx, Datari Turner, Jenette Kahn, Adam Richman, Bobby Shriver