Movie Rated: 18+ (R)
Genre: Drama, Crime
The film is centred on a young man, Jakhor, who lands in the same prison as his father after committing a heinous crime. The rest of the story follows the bond that they both try and rebuild while hoping for a shot at redemption. But all his life, Jakhor has been running away from his father’s shadow.
If you like stories of redemption with moving performances, here’s a film that you should seriously consider watching. It isn’t perfect and follows a very tried-and-tested template of father-son bonding with a dark past that binds them. However, it leaves an affecting impression with the portrayal of the moving, flawed relationship. What do you do when you end up with the person you’ve grown up hating and not having any respect for? Do you try and bury the hatchet or spew more hatred and make things worse. This film is built on the theme of forgiveness and it does a very neat job of making its point, even when it goes off-track at times.
The film also throws the spotlight on the lives of the black community and how they still continue to suffer due to their upbringing. For a lot of these people, violence brews within the family and it leaves a lasting impact on the young. This is one of the better Netflix originals you’d see this year if you turn a blind eye on some of its edgy sides. It works for the most and even when it doesn’t; it isn’t disappointing like many other films. It’s mostly a sad tale with an ending that allows the scope for different interpretation and it’s left to the viewer’s viewpoint.
Ashton Sanders as Jakhor, best known for his performance in Moonlight, turns in a rewarding performance and he’s a treat to watch. The story is told through his narrative and some events from his life are harder to see than hear and imagine via words. Jeffery Wright plays JD, the father, and his quiet presence adds a lot of weight to the film. His performance may not blow one away but he carries the restlessness and lack of empathy of his character quite beautifully.
As much as the scenes between Jakhor and JD play a crucial part in driving the story, wish it had more heart. Yeah, it was moving, but some scenes are straight out flat and only work because of the troubled relationship of their past.
The slow-paced narration will be a turn-off for many. But if you’re willing to be patient, you will stop nitpicking the film’s length.
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