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average rating is 3 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Mar 24, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Jayson Johnson
Written by:
Sara Anders, Kareem Gedra, Jayson Johnson
Phoenyx Rose, Adrian Marcel, Arion Johnson, Quania Jones

The word thot is a derogatory, misogynistic term used, mainly by men, to refer to a woman whom they believe to be sexually promiscuous or engaged in multiple relationships. It’s an interesting, and apt, title choice for a film which wants to speak out against the kind of culture that frequently uses such language, and that is on the rise. Yet, the film never outright denounces the term nor the men who use it, instead tiptoeing around the issue without confronting it head-on.


’T.H.O.T?’ begins in the raunchy manner some might expect from it’s title, with a sex scene intercut with soundbites from a television in the background. We suddenly cut to a barber shop, and it becomes apparent that the sex scene was merely Kev (Arion Johnson) dreaming about how his date with Stacy (Phoenyx Rose) later that night may go. The fact that he isn’t watching the sports on the television quickly catches the attention of the other customers - clearly all members of a tightly knit community - who immediately guess the source of his distraction. They say boys will be boys, and here they very much are, childishly gossiping about Kev’s later date, confusedly trying to work out whether it’s the Stacy with kids or the Stacy without, in the process making a series of underhand misogynistic comments.


Kev walks away from the barbers feeling confused as to the true intentions of his date, and it is to writers Sara Anders, Kareem Gedra and Jayson Johnson’s credit that they then cut to Stacy (without kids) as she prepares for her date. Anders, Gedra and Johnson cleverly outline the misrepresentation given to Stacy by the barbershop boys, through the concise script, which best demonstrates itself as Stacy fights off the warnings of her friend Tasha (Quania Jones). We see Stacy as an empathetic figure cast in a negative and derogative light by a group of men, and we see the result of their misguided attitudes over the course of the date, where the only comforting presence is Isiah (Adrian Marcel), who incidentally was the one man (a female barber did also) to speak out against the misogynistic attitudes of those at the barber shop.


Still, ’T.H.O.T?’ doesn’t lead us to dislike Kev, feeling unfinished as he inconsequently walks away from the barbers and off the screen forever. Indeed, the film as a whole feels incomplete, missing both prior context as to Kev, who is only a fragment of a character, as well as Isiah, who is just as poorly characterised. Even Stacy lacks depth and merely acts in opposition to the dimwitted characterisations of her by men rather than as a character in her own right.


Additionally, Jayson Johnson’s directing feels out of place, aiming highly but never coming close to reaching that high mark, it is more style over substance, with little of his technical camerawork adding anything to either the stories or the characters. The acting is competent, though isn’t particularly weighty, and it is hard to imagine many getting more out of a script, which while proficient and clever in its message, doesn’t lend itself particularly to exploring the talents of the films actors.


’T.H.O.T?’ isn’t a bad film, and it certainly has its heart in the right place, yet it doesn’t settle well, with its message feeling undercooked and the film as a whole feeling unfinished.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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