It would be difficult to find a more earnest film than Blackbird, which is forthright, incisive and often heart-meltingly sweet. It is precisely this earnestness that holds our interest during the thematically bloated story.
The abiding sincerity finds chief manifestation in newcomer Julian Walker, who is expressive and charming, and supported by an equally enthusiastic young cast. Even so, most are surpassed by Isaiah Washington’s expert performance.
Blackbird implements a melodramatic style – perhaps more appropriate to the stage – which maximises the dramatic effects. Unfortunately the theatricality also strains the plausibility and, ultimately, impact of the tale.
Despite the various inconsistencies, this is a well made, emotionally engaging and entertaining watch. Patrik-Ian Polk’s latest project provides a great example of worthy independent filmmaking.
CAST: Mo’Nique, Julian Walker, Kevin Allesee, Isaiah Washington, Terrell Tilford
DIRECTOR: Patrik-Ian Polk
WRITERS: Patrik-Ian Polk, Rikki Beadle-Blair
SYNOPSIS: 17-year-old Randy Rousseau struggles with his sexuality in this coming of age tale set in a small Southern Baptist community.
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