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Company of Prophets

average rating is 1 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Apr 22, 2023

Film Reviews
Company of Prophets
Directed by:
Malcolm Carter
Written by:
Malcolm Carter
Nakell Rashad, Ashley Nief, KrisMarshall

The colour blue sometimes symbolises melancholy. Equally it sometimes symbolise isolation, or even tranquility. In Malcolm Carter’s ‘Company of Prophets’ it might as well symbolise the colour of the sky, for though its central character is certainly melancholic, it’s a subject handled so poorly that its messaging is effectively redundant.


There’s a sense that the director wants to purport some kind of religious message amidst the chaos of his sprawling screenplay, none of which makes much sense, as characters repeatedly contradict themselves. It’s all far too convoluted to follow, with barely a semblance of a story, and even less any firm character motivations. Any attempts to impose some kind of holier than thou message is lost amongst a blizzard of curses and insults, which, coupled with the frustratingly impulsive screenplay make ‘Company of Prophets’ a confusing, difficult to watch, mess.


The women at the forefront of ‘Company of Prophets’ is Mala (Nacelle Rashad), a weary woman, and former rap artist, who has mysteriously disappeared overseas for years. Returning home she suffers from problems with PTSD, hearing gunfire and having visions of men jumping in cars from the war zone she has allegedly returned from. This adds nothing to the plot, and isn’t touched on a second time, a clear indication of the reckless screenplay. Of course, Mala suffers from other problems, one which isn’t addressed is the obvious dilemma of her asking a client (she becomes some sort of guidance counsellor, though masked criminals are somehow involved??!) to strip down naked in an interview. These ‘maverick methods’ are brushed across far too quickly, with no degree of accountability for what is plainly sexual harassment.


Tasked, seemingly by the masked criminals (it’s difficult to keep track), of reforming a group of troubled youths and taking them to the top of the rap game, it’s fair to say that Mala is no Robin Williams when it comes to teaching or counselling. Instead she’s more concerned with a hastily introduced plot of getting revenge for her family, leaving the youths, including Kevin (KrisMarshall), and Talia (Ashley Nief) to get high and have sex in her apartment while she retreats to her room and breaks her own ‘no music’ policy. Kevin, Talia, and any other early twenty-something in ‘Company of Prophets’ is such an exaggeration of perceptions of young people - every other word a curse, often a derogatory insult - as misconceptions of young people as degenerate delinquents are relentlessly perpetuated.


The stylistic decision to tint the entire film blue is… odd, to say the least. While it never detracts from the film, it fails to add anything either, and is indicative of the lack of clear direction behind the film. At no stage does it feel at all cinematic, with that more a fault of Malcolm Carter’s writing than his direction, which is solid. But that doesn’t make up for one of the most appalling screenplays this critic has seen put to screen, with not a single likeable character (in particular Mala, who is a horrible woman) and a far, far too convoluted plot, attempting to juggle so many plates that each ends up smashing.


There’s very little about ‘Company of Prophets’ that resembles an actual film, more a compilation of ideas and clips that happen to feature the same people, with barely a narrative thread which runs between them. It’s a confusing mess, one better left unseen. Not even any of the rap is worthwhile.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Indie Feature Film
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