Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). ... See full summary »
Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). She dreams of medical school, a family, and an escape from the generational poverty and street-corner life her friends seem to have accepted as their lot. But personal and sexual challenges confront Chantel on her way to fulfilling these dreams. Written by
The initials "I.R.T." in the film's title stand for "Interborough Rapid Transit", which refers to a number of New York City's subway systems. Despite the title, however, there is only one scene where Chantel Mitchell is seen in the subway. See more »
I thought this was an excellent movie. It held my attention the whole time. The only acting I saw that wasn't really professional was by Ty and some of the smaller characters. But, really, that only added to the realism.
Some people say there was overacting. To me these critics are probably overreacting to 3 things:
1)Johnson's hard accent which if you are not used to, will think is over dramatical. 2)The lingo. You have to remember this was 1992. A lot of the stuff they were doing and saying was typical then. The house parties where everyone danced in step (which by the way, the scene that had the Caribbean dance feel mixed with the NY style was very authentic. I'm referring to the party that Chantelle went to after lying to her mom about where she would be, where she first hooked up with Ty). Plus the clothes were Cross Colors style, remember those? 3)The energy of Chantelle. It may seem over the top, but I've met people like this, and some from NY no less.
I thought it was cool to show how Chantelle did try to hold up this self image of being so strong, but really she needed a male role model. That was evident when she couldn't believe her father hit her, or when Ty initially called her a bad word and stuff. She acted like she couldn't believe it happened after she put so much trust in them. That is very typical. A female needs a good man to be around and when they don't have it, they try to assume some of what they think are a man's characteristics. All that bravado Chantelle gave off with her mouth and actions? It was what she thought she needed to succeed in this harsh world.
A comment was made that the family and Chantelle didn't look "poor" enough. That was dumb. What did the user want, Chris Rock on the crack in New Jack City? I've seen plenty of lesser income areas where from the outside, I was scared to enter. But, on the inside, their area was neater that my own house. Reason being, just because you have lesser income, doesn't mean your living quarters will be in shambles. Also, since you have less money and area to live in, you are almost forced to be neat. Lastly, everybody has problems like these from the rich to the poor. Comparing this movie's lower income area to "ones in LA" was another dumb comment. You can always find one area that is supposedly worse than another. Just like you can always find an area that is supposedly wealthier than the other. Those comments made me angry.
Excellent movie. Where is Johnson? I don't know.
2 last things:
Back then, they didn't do director's commentary but that would have been nice to put on the DVD. I can't stress that enough.
Johnson's commentary would have been REALLY good. Johnson, if you are reading this, please let us know where you are and comment. Or e-mail me.
Third, they didn't really stress HIV/AIDs. But, I guess that is what the movie KIDS was for. Another NY movie. I remember the Nikki D song "Daddy's Little Girl" from the back in the day. That was always fresh, house mixed with rap.
Brooklyn!!! I love it.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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