Lila (Viola Davis) a grief stricken mother who had just lost her son, teams up with Eve (Jennifer Lopez, who she had just met at the grief counselling session, and together they decide to take revenge of the ones who robbed them of their loved ones.
LILA & EVE is a small film, trying to join the league of many other vigilante films, such us The Brave One and Death Sentence. It may luck the authenticity of the first and extensive gore of the second, but stands on its own, thanks to the great performance of Viola Davis, and, surprisingly, Jennifer Lopez, who looks both natural and enigmatic. The question of "whodunit" is irrelevant, it's all about making them pay. The behaviour of Lila and Eve is questionable all through the film, and the the makers do not shy away from taking sides. In a scene where a grieve counselling group is joined by the mother, whose sons Lila had just killed, she is being shamed for knowing what her sons were doing and Lila stands her ground, even while looking in the eyes of her victim. She has a lot of doubts all through the film, but never shies away from deadly action.
We do feel for our heroines when the true chain of events, that led to Lila's son death, unfold and we are on her side when the criminals strike back. To my surprise, instead of leading up to a bitter and gory showdown, the movie ends on a sentimental note, in a truly emotional scene that I did not expect and that deeply touched me.
LILA & EVE is a few steps away from being a TV movie, and there is an awkward twist towards the end which made sense, but robbed the film of its charm and credence a little. However the script is tight, the melodrama is solid and fine performances from two leading ladies making LILA & EVE if not superior, but a very fine watching experience.