Black Snake Moan is designed to look and sound like a B-grade exploitation flick. It opens with a hot sex scene followed shortly thereafter by the sight of a girl writhing on the ground in apparent sexual frustration. Later, there's booze and blues and black-and-blue marks. There's a (white) girl in chains and a (black) man holding the key. The film pushes more buttons than an elevator operator but, in the end, Black Snake Moan works to turn expectations upside down. The movie has things to say about race and religion and the pain of loneliness, and it does so with considerable offbeat wit. It introduces three broken people and shows how a little understanding can salve wounds, if not completely heal them.
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