When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story Review

Who is Falicia Blakely? Her name brings to mind her infamous murder spree in Atlanta during the summer of 2002 which left three men dead. Since her conviction her name had faded from public attention until TV One revisited her crime oas part of their series For My Man, and the network has gone further by delving deeper into Falicia’s life and crimes in their made for tv movie ‘When Love Kills’ the Falicia Blakely story.
While For my Man covered all the factual bases of Falicia’s crime and gave an abbreviated look into the abusive relationship in which lead to her becoming a murderess, When Love Kills which stars Niatia ‘Lil Mama’ Kirkland as Falicia serves to present what Blakely was going through emotionally that led to the triple homicide. A teenaged single mother with an emotionally distant relationship with her mother Stacy (played by Basketball Wives’ star Tami Roman), Falicia searches for the love and financial security she lacks from her mother in men she encounters while working as an exotic dancer. One fateful night Falicia meets Big Dino (played by Lance Gross) who woos the vulnerable young woman with his charm and generosity and once he has her under his spell turns her into a criminal through the use of intimidation and abuse to get her to do his fatal dirty work.
One thing to note about the movie was in molding a message as a cautionary tale for woman Falicia was portrayed as having and raising a daughter, while in reality Falicia had a son. Other than that change through artistic licensing purposes the rest of the plot sticks to the facts that Falicia publicly shared about her life. As horrifying as Falicia’s abuse is depicted to be, it comes across as a bit tame from what she actually endured. Gross’ character ‘Big Dino’ is gradually developed into the monster he ultimately is shown to be, although evidently Dino was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As for Falicia’s mom Stacey, it is apparent that she loved Falicia but wasn’t involved enough in her life and knowing her whereabouts when it was most important, and how she thought she was showing love correctly but her methods didn’t connect with her daughter enough for her to feel secure.
The cast and director Tasha Smith(who males her directorial debut with the film) do a great job in portraying the emotional perspectives and conditions which lead to the unfortunate tragic events. The film also does well at not portraying Falicia as a monster, but as a manipulated vulnerable victim with a conscious who just didn’t have the strength, smarts and courage to leave her abusive relationship or seek help when she should.
‘When Love Kills’: the Falicia Blakely story airs on TV One on August 28, 2017 at 9pm.

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