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average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

Apr 22, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Frantzy Moreau
Written by:
Frantzy Moreau
Frantzy Moreau, Raquel John, Emmett Hunter, Rodsheed J. Thorton

Enoch Rose (Moreau) is on his way home for a reunion. He is headed back to the house that he grew up in, where his sister, Mya (John) now lives with her son, Josh (Thorton). In the back of the cab, on his way there, Enoch is watching some old family videos on his phone; firstly of his sister and his nephew, where young Josh has broken one of his toys and needs some help in getting it mended; then one of his father (Hunter), as Enoch interviews him for a school project, and we get some shoehorned expository dialogue to give us some backstory.


Both of these scenes are warm and gentle and contrast completely with the opening shots of the film where we see Enoch open fire on a gang in the backstreets of the city. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise then, when Enoch finally gets to where he’s going, that he doesn’t have the courage to knock on the front door, preferring to walk away to give himself more time to think. It’s at this point that Enoch gets mugged for his phone and a chase ensues, until of course, he runs into a trap and the rest of the gang surround him. After a hefty beating and a lucky escape, Enoch eventually gets back home and heads straight for a box of old things hidden away in the cupboard, where he knows a gun is stashed. Now the audience can start to link the seemingly disparate threads we have been given up to now and the story of Boy.With.Angel.Wings starts to take shape.


The decision from writer, director and star, Frantzy Moreau to fracture the storylines of the first act may not appear to have been a positive decision, managing as it does to obscure much of the characterisation and motivation of the main character as the threads of his backstory lead us in different directions. This then appears to be borne out in the second act, as it follows a much more linear path, and the narrative feels as though it is in danger of falling into deadly clichéd, young black man, life on the streets, kind of territory. However, once the film enters into its third act and we watch as the threads tie together one by one, we find that Moreau’s decision was right all along, surprising us with what we learn about the narrative we are following, as well as what we realise we already know from what we have previously seen. All credit must go to Moreau for how smartly he plays this all out and for how he has put his narrative together.


In amongst all of this we are treated to some top-notch cinematography from Isaac Mead-Long who keeps the colour and the light matched up perfectly in every frame, both indoors and outside, while Moreau remains consistently steady and secure in his direction. The acting, from a well cast set of actors, is also very good with Moreau himself coming across as the poorest of the lot, as he sometimes struggles and stumbles with the emotion that is supposed to come with his lines. The audio unfortunately lets the film down, being as it is at a very low level throughout and almost non-existent for the first ninety seconds. There is an audible jump in volume when this is corrected, but even then the dialogue remains very quiet in amongst the background.


For an indie film with a very low budget, Boy.With.Angel.Wings gets the most out of its production value and has the look of a much bigger feature. It has its technical issues which don’t do it any favours but despite this the quality of the story and the meaning of the message still shine through. Perhaps Moreau is taking on too much by spreading himself over so many roles and his future projects may benefit from a streamlining of effort behind the camera rather than in front of it.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film
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