30 Dec 2021
Elijah Boothe, Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, Moses Massena, Nelcie Souffrant, Oz Tozan, Taprena Augustine
A young man finds a bag full of illegal drugs and decides to sell them, putting himself and those around him in jeopardy.
In movies, when people stumble upon money or drugs and they decide to keep them for their own benefit, it is an action that tends to lead to tragedy and this film is no exception.
The plot follows three individuals, the majority of whom are involved in crime. The main character is Kendall (Boothe), an unmotivated youth who lives with his caring mother Tori (Augustine). His two best friends are Capri (Massena), a petty criminal who wants to move up the criminal ladder and Roscoe (James Boykins), a religious guy who does not want any trouble. One night, three outlaws get killed over a bag that is filled with illicit drugs and Kendall happens to arrive by passing by later and decides to take the bag, hoping to sell its contents with the help of Capri, in order to raise money for a better life. His decision to do so creates tense complications, as the police and a deadly gang leader named Marcus (Kason Wayman) close in on them.
This dark crime drama belongs in a similar category as Boyz n the Hood and Menace II Society. It explores themes of gang violence, gun crime, drug dealing and it dramatically shows the consequences that these have on people. However, positive aspects of life are also present, such as friendship, family values, romance and the desire to move on to better things.
Basically, the narrative consists of three storylines. One focuses on the efforts of Kendall, Capri and Roscoe to distribute the drugs and Kendall's attempts to start a relationship with Denise (Souffrant), a girl that he fancies. Another follows Marcus as he tries to track down the ones who took the drugs and finally there is the police's perspective of the events, which involves Lead Detective Chase (Luqmaan-Harris), who holds a no-nonsense approach towards her job.
Lott does a great job as the director and creates terrific aerial shots. Tommy Strauser composes a score that is dramatic and sinister and helps develop the right atmosphere. There are sequences during which there is slow motion and diegetic sound disappears, leaving voice-over or music to take over and the use of these techniques effectively creates drama.
This is a hard-hitting drama that vividly shows the price people pay for being on the wrong side of the law and depicts the challenges of living in areas where crime levels are high. The pace is a bit slow, however the characters are well-explored and the anti-crime messages make this feature worthy of recognition.