Film of the Day (03/11/19): Dope


Written and Directed By Rick Famuyiwa

This one was an absolute treat. Rick Famuyiwa has written and directed a great movie that flips conventions, giving us an inner city drug tale told from a geek’s perspective. While it does present some stereotypes, it isn’t interested in taking them anywhere you might expect. This fresh set of eyes does wonders, delivering a film that is unique, memorable and very funny. It has a lot to say about the inequality of a society that could push a good kid to drug sales in order to succeed in such a slanted system, and the message lands the haymaker it throws in its final act. The cast is great, especially Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons as Malcolm, Jib and Diggy, respectively. Their chemistry as the friends the story revolves around is great, as they showcase the exact kind of reckless abandon and confusion one expects from teenagers. They long for the golden era of hip hop, but play in their own punk band, in another fine example of subverted expectations. Everything works, from the wonderful soundtrack to the characters, situations and humor, and left me with no complaints. The film churns along at a good pace until it reaches a powerful climax that really made me think while never sacrificing entertainment value. There is a lot of replay value here, and I’m sure I will revisit this in the future!

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