21st & Colonial
11 Dec 2021
Angelo Reyes, Toby Osborne
Angelo Reyes, Sue Prado, Ogden Buck, Dominique Madison
A story about the lives of a young African American drug dealer and a troubled police officer.
Omar (Buck) is going through tough times. His mother is angry with him for selling drugs and he has just found out that his girlfriend Stephanie (Madison) is pregnant with his child and, as a result, her parents are throwing her out of their house. Meanwhile, a cop named Carlos (Reyes), who used to be in the marines, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is ignoring the pleas of his wife and colleague that he seeks help.
Based on true events, this short crime drama follows two individuals who appear to be quite different, while in fact, they have significant similarities as both of them are struggling with serious issues. Omar is living a life of crime because he believes that is the only way he can move forward and Carlos is damaged by his past, leading him to become aggressive and distant. The narrative keeps cutting between the lives of these two men, observing them as they go about their business and interact with people.
This is a powerful film, as it deals with serious issues. It begins with a powerful quote by Martin Luther King Jr. about going against violence and it explores the consequences that crime, drug dealing, PTSD and police brutality have on people and it does so rather dramatically. There is tension, emotional scenes and scenes of joy, all of which effectively move the plot towards its conclusion.
The acting is strong. Buck is convincing as a well-meaning person who keeps making the wrong decisions and Madison is very dramatic as an individual whose life is rapidly turned upside down. Perhaps Reyes plays the most intriguing character, which is that of a dangerous man who is about to snap.
The music by Will Musser is one of the best aspects here. The score is tender, tense and includes beautiful piano tones. Its addition creates atmosphere that goes well with the scenes.
This is a hard-hitting story that shows how people's actions can have devastating consequences. It depicts people's lives crossing paths with dramatic effects and it does so very effectively.