Photo Credit: Lionsgate
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Like most movies about characters suffering from multiple personality disorders, Frankie and Alice requires its audience to make huge leaps of faith in buying whatever dilemma the main character is really experiencing. We have, I believe for the first time, a story about a stripper with a split personality.
It would be easy to simply sit back and laugh at the many over-the-top situations that real-life 1970s stripper Frankie Murdoch experiences – it is an exercise in the absurd to imagine a woman offering up her lady parts to random, singles-waving male patrons while battling the voice of an inner demon . . . but to Berry credit, she pulls it off – really, really well. Even when Frankie is battling her alter ego Alice (a white racist, of all thing), Berry really makes you believe that she is judging herself. It gets emotional and raw (and often confusing), but this works in the film’s favor as it reflects precisely what Frankie herself experienced.
The plot does go off in too many directions a few too many times – just when you think the focus is taken off of Frankie for too long, the film comes back . . .only to meander again in another 10 minutes. I’ll blame the 9 credited screenwriters for that – what I can’t find fault with is Berry’s performance: easily one of the most memorable in recent years, and definitely the best thing she has done since her Oscar-winning turn in Monster’s Ball.