TL;DR – This is a perfectly
fine film, but it felt like it could have been more if they had gone for
something other than the shotgun approach to storytelling.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
It has been a long time since the sort of wholesome teen romance film was in vogue.
You know the sort of film that can get away with having bloopers during the end
credits. In some respects, this feels like a lost art that was only recaptured recently
thanks in part by a number of films on Netflix. Well today we take a look at an
interesting example of this genre that has moments of real joy in between
moments of real dullness.
So to set the scene, it is the last summer after the end of high school where
everyone is having fun before having to move away for college. Our story
revolves around a group of teens that sort of know each other from school as
they endure heartbreak after heartbreak. You have Griffin (KJ Apa) who is
coming home from prep-school, so he feels disconnected for most of the people who
stayed in Chicago. You have Alec (Jacob Latimore) and Erin (Halston Sage) who
are going to different colleges so they decide to pre-emptively break up. Also
Audrey (Sosie Bacon) has been put on the wait-list from even her back-up,
back-up College and does not know what she wants to do with her life. All of
these stories sort of collide with each other over the summer as people’s priorities
are put into focus.
TL;DR – A powerful and unflinching look at life at the intersection of race, power, poverty, and privilege.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
One of the most important aspects of film, or indeed any media, is its ability to help you understand a different perspective. For many people in the world, the police are a source of comfort and protection, who you call when you are in danger. But for many people almost the opposite is true, and it can be difficult to understand why that is. However, that is what film is here to do, and that is what today’s film does.
So to set the scene, Starr (Amandla Stenberg) was only a child when her father Maverick (Russell Hornsby) gave her and her siblings Seven (Russell Hornsby) and Sekani (TJ Wright) the talk. No, I am not talking about the birds and the bees, I am talking about what you do when (not if) you get pulled over by the police so you can make it out of it alive. As Starr grew up her mother Lisa (Regina Hall) was determined to make sure she could have the best opportunity available for life and sends her and her siblings to a private school. This makes Starr create two sides of herself, the Williamson side and the Garden Heights side. All of this comes to a head when Starr runs into an old friend Khalil (Algee Smith) at a party. It was a chance to reminisce about the past and how they use to all dress up as Harry Potter. After a gun goes off at the party, Starr and Khalil race to the car, and that is when the world changes for everyone.