Wednesday, January 27, 2021

EUR Reviews: ‘Mangrove’ a Must and ‘The Giant’ a Bust / WATCH

*“Mangrove,” is one of five films from the “Small Axe” anthology by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”).

Based on true events, the film chronicles the 50th anniversary of the day in 1970 when 150 protesters of West Indian and African heritage in Notting Hill, West London, took to the streets because of police brutality. In a reign of racist terror, the local police raid Mangrove—a  lively community base for locals, intellectuals and activists—time after time.

When nine men and women are wrongly arrested and charged with incitement to riot, a highly publicized trial ensues. his must see film follows the Nine and their road to justice. One of the Nine, Altheia Jones-LeCointe (Letitia Wright), is the leader of the British Black Panther Movement.

Ironically, Wright is the sister of T’Challa in Black Panther. During the highly publicized trial of the Mangrove Nine, tensions ran high as they fought against brutal treatment and discrimination.

Mangrove march
Letitia Wright as Altheia Jones-LeCointe (center), Malachi Kirby (Darcus Howe, center, holding megaphone) in Mangrove. Photo: Des Willie/Amazon Prime Video

“Mangrove” is not only timely, but universal in its depiction of bigotry and injustice throughout the universe. The raw emotions that spill out into the streets, and at times inside the Mangrove, are real. “Mangrove” hits its mark going for the jugular with in your face necessary narratives.

Co-written and directed by Steve McQueen, “Mangrove” also stars  Malachi Kirby, Shaun Parkes, and Malachi Kirby, Rochenda Sandall, Jack Lowden, Sam Spruell,  Gershwyn Eustache, Nathaniel Martello-White, Richie Campbell, Jumayn Hunter, and Gary Beadle. “Mangrove” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The Giant

Watching “The Giant” is like watching paint dry. At least with the paint drying, viewers are spared the doldrums of Charlotte’s (Odessa Young) sleepwalk-like trudge through “The Giant.” Minutes after the film begins, Charlotte mother’s quivering feet are seen because she has just committed suicide. This scene is tantamount to what audiences are in for; in addition to a serial killer storyline.

Giant Odessa
Odessa Young (Charlotte) in “The Giant.”

Charlotte is a 17-year-old spending the summer in her Georgia hometown before heading off to college. Her questionable first love Joe (Ben Schnetzer), who mysteriously disappeared also returns. And Charlotte’s best friend Olivia (Madelyn Cline) only adds to the dire state of affairs with her dark appearances.

The surreal scenes and dreamlike sequences set up to pique the imagination fail miserably because of the monotonous and maudlin tone of the movie. Charlotte’s belabored, psychological trek drains viewers to the point where they could care less about the conclusion.

Directed by David Raboy, “The Giant” also stars Jack Kilmer, Madelyn Cline, Danny Ramirez, and PJ Marshall. “The Giant” is available on Digital & On Demand.

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Marie Moorehttp://eurweb.com
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.

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