Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Photograph - Movie Review

The Movie: The Photograph

The Director: Stella Meghie

The Cast: LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chanté Adams, Chelsea Peretti, Teyonah Parris, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Rob Morgan. Courtney B. Vance, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lil Rel Howery

The Story: A series of intertwining love stories set in the past and in the present.

The Review:
So, where do I start with this movie? The story is beautiful. the characters are beautiful, the cast is beautiful, the script is beautiful, the cinematography is beautiful. The whole thing is just an absolutely beautiful piece of film making, that's really the best way I can describe it. Sometimes when you watch a movie, you see the passion for creating movies come across in the writing, in the directing, or in the acting and sometimes, on those very special occasions, it shows up in all aspects of the movie and this is one of those times.

This movie was written by, produced by, and directed by a woman and that woman is clearly has an eye, a talent, a passion, or whatever you want to call it for making movies that touch your deep down in your soul. At least this movie is evidence of that and I feel like a lot of how that came across for me is from how authentic it is. Each character is so real and they make real decisions, not like ones that follow standard story tropes or magical Hollywood blueprints. The people in this movie are so relatable and especially when they do or say some dumb stuff if you know what I mean. When you watch the story play out, there will be times where you're like oh hell no and you'll also be like yeah, I get what they did there.

None of what I'm talking about would be nearly as effective without the performances turned in by the cast with LaKeith Stanfield leading the way. If this man doesn't become a major player in the world of film making then there is a serious problem. Oh wait, we already know Hollywood has a serious problem and that's a story for another day. Honestly though, his performance is one that I will be considering when it comes to my favorites of the year. Yes, he's that good. And ladies, you're going to swoon over just how charming and smooth he is in this picture. At least that's the vibe I was getting from all the giggling and gasping going around me during the screening I was at.

On the other side of that, I was having the same experience watching both Issa Rae and Chanté Adams do their thing. Both brought something really special to their characters with Ms Rae surprising a lot of people who are used to seeing her in a more high strung comedic mode. Seriously though, if these two ladies were in every movie I ever saw from on, I would not have one problem with this at all. Along for the ride in a supporting and comedic role is Lil Rel Howery who plays the best friend and voice of reason character to a tee and takes advantage of every moment to make the audience laugh.

The Review:
The Photograph is cinematic poetry. Beautifully crafted and filled with standout performances, the story works both as a classic, feel good love story and as an exploration of who we are as emotional people right now, with all of our hopes, dreams, and flaws laid out for everyone to see. Oh and the soundtrack is also phenomenal, both the score and the song selections.

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