I feel it only right to warn you that this is as much a rant as a review, there will be spoilers, and I shall at times break out into my full on island girl persona. If you don’t live on a rock, and specifically one that is part of the chain known as the Caribbean, don’t feel no way if some of the phrases give you pause. It’s all good.
Lemme start with this. This is a Caribbean movie, the second one and the only one not made in Antigua that I can say I enjoyed a lot. I’m not saying that Caribbean movies aren’t good, they are, but I for one generally watch movies to be taken away from the ordinary-ness that has become, for me, living in paradise. Maybe that is the first reason why I enjoyed this movie, it showcased a face of Caribbean culture that I have never really had the chance to examine in any detail.
I am after all not Trinidadian, of Indian decent, or very heavily into Trinidadian Soca. This movie however might be the one to get me assemble a best of Trini Carnival playlist. No kidding, I would pay for this soundtrack. At some points I was winking up and grinding quite heavily in my seat. Barely restraining myself from getting up and having a likkle groove.
While yes, it was set against the breath taking vistas of a Caribbean backdrop, and featured accents I am familiar with, and people were cutting open coconuts and playing music and so on. Bazodee still managed to take me away. 2 points so far.
When it comes to the acting, this man had me. I mean really had me. Maybe it was his booming voice, or his happy go lucky plucky, or just the fact that he was exotic to me.
Him and the best friend of our leading man were magnificent, funny and endearing.
I’m adding another point here for his performance alone. Not that he was the only actor who did a good job, for the most part I had few complaints. While I heard others talking about the somewhat forced demeanor of some of the characters, I won’t knock anyone too hard for that knowing that this is a fledgling industry for us in these parts.
Our villain too, played by ValMike Rampersad, was a really interesting character. He played it smooth and subtle, with just the right hint of vindictive, sinister, snark.
He also had pretty much the idea that me and my companions had for a good chunk of our viewing experience. Well until…well…I think that would be too much of a spoiler. Suffice it to say when it’s time to hate him you do, but there are also times when you cheer him, and times when you just wanna pat him on the back. He was a big part of my emotional investment and so deserves a point. How much is that? 4 so far? Good, thanks for helping me keep track.
Now when you talk about emotional investment, this is where my attention should have been squarely placed. On the two star crossed, bazodee, lovers for whom this story was told. It’s not a new story, rich girl meets ordinary boy, finds commonality and falls all in love. This girl happens to be of Indian decent, and he black. So socially they are challenged and economically…I mean…who’s mother didn’t warn her about dreamers and musicians right?
I tell you I was invested, but not in the way you would think. This is the first movie ever, where I found myself actively against the romance. I’ll tell you why.
First of all you see that man? +1 just for him. I’m pretty sure Tyler Perry loaned this movie one of his perfectly made male specimens from what ever secret locations he grows them. He is hot, and sweet, and romantic, and respectful, and totally into our heroine. He listens and respects her as a business woman, I mean dyamn. If he was ugly, if he was mean or cruel or even his brother the villain it would not have been so bad, but sista girl broke me with every escapade with her likkle singer man and his ukulele. I could have strangled her when he was hurt.
This is the part where I found bits of my creole bubbling up from the pit of my belly and spilling right out my mouth at the screen.
“Wait? Is dotish she dotish man?”
“Wha mek she so fooley?”
“She na bazodee, she’s a koonu moonu!!!”
These were only some of the phrases myself and many of my fellow movie goers hurled at the screen. There was even a fair amount of chupzing when our lovers reached their romantic zenith. We were all so enthralled that either nobody did, or we were just too involved to notice, any sinful acts of bad cinema etiquette. You can believe that?
In the end we left there appreciative, not feeling robbed in any way. But look here how I forget my own scoring system nuh? Where were we? 4 +1? makes 5? Plus another two for making me say things I haven’t said, in my native tongue, in ages? Makes 7? And plus one for being home grown makes 8?
Yes a good solid 8. If you are from the Caribbean go see it, it will be good for you to reconnect. If you aren’t still watch it, it will entice you to connect. And yes I know, fisherman never say he fish stink, so you probably seeing me as bias saying it, but it’s not, it’s a genuine invitation to let yourself be lost in something, to get bazodee on something, because this movie really has the power to do that to you.