Wow. After weeks of internet buzz and built up anticipation, I was finally able to sit down and see this movie for myself. Last night, I joined some of Atlanta’s movers and shakers as we kicked back and enjoyed this awesome film. I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a lot to impress me, but after last night, I was moved. This film definitely lives up to its name.
(Director, Ricky Famuyiwa, KarmaJonez, Actor, Shameik Moore)
So one of the best things about this film is the director. Ricky Famuyiwa, who also happens to be the writer, is brilliant! If you aren’t familiar, Famuyiwa is responsible for cult classics such at The Wood and Brown Sugar. Once I learned that, it was easier to put things into perspective. A product of Inglewood, California, Ricky’s childhood seems to have a huge influence on the stories he puts on the big screen.
For example, the lead character “Malcolm”, who’s played by breakout star Shameik Moore is a Nigerian-American growing up in Inglewood. He’s kinda nerdy, he’s into old school Hip Hop, and he’s really ambitious. After meeting Ricky, who also happens to be Nigerian-American, I can’t help but believe that he drew from his own life experiences to develop Malcolm’s character. That’s pretty cool.
“I’m from Inglewood, California. I wanted to revisit my hometown with a new generation.”- Ricky Famuyiwa
Aside from the movie being incredibly entertaining, it was also empowering and refreshing. When I asked Ricky why he thought films like these were important for Black people to see, he had this to say:
“I just want to redefine what we call mainstream cinema, so that we don’t have to say it’s a Black film. No one will say that about The Breakfast Club, they won’t call that a ‘white movie’. Somehow our stories are considered niche, or outside of the norm. I wanted to make this film about specific people, and a specific environment…where I’m from…so that it could be enjoyed by the masses. I feel like there’s entertainment and lessons to be learned by all folk, not just Black folk.”
A few of the lessons you can take from this film:
1. Never judge a book by its cover
2. Never underestimate people
3. Never be afraid to be your authentic self
Like the cry baby that I am, I shed a few tears as “Malcolm” and his friends learned a few lessons along the way (and get into a little trouble)…but there are definitely some powerful scenes in the movie that I would consider teachable moments.
I WILL say that there were a lot of unexpected scenes, so buckle your seat belt when you hit theaters. You’ll also get a chance to see familiar faces such as A$AP Rocky, Zoey Kravitz, Tyga and Chanel Iman. There’s even a surprise character that we all know and love that will make an EPIC appearance.
As I mentioned earlier, the theater was full of Atlanta socialites, producers, actors, singers, and media personalities. I had the pleasure of sitting directly beside Funky Dineva, who was giving non-stop commentary prior to the screening. Also in attendance was Kandi Burruss, Todd Tucker, Raven Goodwin of Being Mary Jane, Headcrack of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the TALENT that is Shameik Moore. He was a pleasure to watch on and off the screen! After talking with him for only a few minutes, I was drawn to his positivity, and his warm nature. The same can be said for Ricky Famuyiwa. That is a rarity in this business. They were kind, they were intelligent, they were welcoming, and above all else, they were incredibly DOPE.
This movie is a must see! Check it out in theaters on June 19th!