Posted by: greercn | September 14, 2015

Dope

Viewers of a sensitive disposition should stay away. Anyone else will have a whale of a time watching this beautifully-written and directed film about teenagers in Inglewood, Los Angeles.

Malcolm – played by Shameik Moore who is a true star – has normal teenage concerns about high school, university, friends and growing up. His mother works hard and his father has vanished, long ago. His best friends are terrific. Tony Revolori as Jib (Grand Budapest Hotel) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) are both very charming and compelling.

Zoe Kravitz and Chanel Iman stand out, in small but significant roles.

Writer and director Rick Famuyima has made a rare treat of a movie. I loved every minute and laughed, held my breath and felt each character’s pain, in equal measures.

But here’s a note of caution. Bad language, casual drug use, violence, unpunished theft, nudity and sexual scenes are all essential to the plot, but may put off a percentage of the population.

It all feels very real and true to life. Of course, I am grateful it’s not true to my life.

Our young heroes get involved in a drugs deal gone wrong. Their response to this is original and tricky.

My Very Intelligent Friend and I both adored watching it and stayed attentive through the whole thing. Very few movies keep you present, all the way through. This grabs you from the first scene and never lets you go. Images stay in my head.

Pharrell Williams has composed a few new songs and the soundtrack is terrific, in the hip hop genre.

I haven’t seen any of this fine young director’s other movies, but I will seek them out as he has the knack of making relevant social commentary while providing engrossing entertainment.

Everyone at the Stratford East Picturehouse loved it, apart from a few people who left as they were unable to handle the content, which is very raw. I think this is going to be one of my favourite movies of 2015.

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