Directed by: #StefonBristol
Written by: #FredricaBailey, Stefon Bristol
Back to the Future meets Boyz N the Hood in the #Netflix film, See You Yesterday. Full of heavy science alongside heavy themes (police brutality, Black Lives Matter) it's one of the weightier Netflix original movies to have emerged in recent months, and it even has Michael J. Fox doing a BTTF gag.
Eden Duncan-Smith plays CJ, a headstrong teenage girl whose obsession with time travel and the smarts to pull it off see her and her pal Sebastian (Dante Crichlow) develop a couple of back backs that allow them to go back in time, if only for a few days. At first it's an adventure into scientific curiosity but when CJ's brother gets killed during a mix up with the police, the backpacks may be the only thing that can save him.
The butterfly effect is in full swing with See You Yesterday and the film doesn't gloss over the complexities. It trusts its audience to keep up and even chucks in multiple timeline diversions which become more complicated than Inception's deepest levels. These teenagers are brainy as heck and it makes their perilous location seem even more threatening.
It's a movie unafraid to discuss huge tense topics that are troubling large parts of American and Western societies right now. Much like John Singleton's enduring Boyz N the Hood, Stefon Bristol masterfully combines hearty storytelling with heartbreaking reality. It's a recipe that produces an exceptionally resonating piece.
With a cast of largely unknowns, See You Yesterday has some incredible talent in the performers. Duncan-Smith is a tour de force on screen as the brainy but belligerent CJ, providing the Netflix movie's most standout sequences and scenes. Crichlow is a brilliant supporting player and his chemistry with Duncan-Smith elevated the film by several marks.
The only fault with the film is the balance between coming of age adventure and the devastating effects of police brutality and suppression on black communities. There is a hopelessness which settles the characters halfway through the film and from there the movie seems to be on unsure footing. Which is a shame, because had a stronger grip been achieved this could have been a seminal piece of #filmmaking.
As it stands, however, this is still one of the best Netflix originals and a film for fans of time travel, hard-hitting themes, and brilliant performance.