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Tracee Ellis Ross
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A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.
After witnessing the murder of her first and only boyfriend, young Justice decides to forget about college and become a South Central Los Angeles hairdresser. Avoiding friends, the only way for her to cope with her depression is by composing beautiful poetry. On her way to a convention in Oakland, she is forced to ride with an independent-minded postal worker whom she has not gotten along with in the past. After various arguments between them and their friends, they start to discover that their thoughts on violence, socially and domestically, are the same. Justice may finally feel that she is not as alone as before. Written by
I am a white man over the age of 50, so this film wasn't really made for me. That doesn't mean there wasn't anything here, and I could see that this was a quality production.
This film had occasional laughs, which was good because it could get very depressing at times.
I really liked the family reunion, where the movie's main characters pretended to be part of the family just to get some free food and found themselves being accepted rather than questioned. I got the impression they might come back someday just because they liked being with these people. This is also where Maya Angelou delivered an elegant performance. Yes, this film was worthy of her, and she added something to it.
As for her poetry, not my style. Janet Jackson did a great job reading it offscreen, but again, not by sort of thing. For many people, this will be a wonderful part of the movie.
One of my favorite parts of the film was the scene at the gas station/convenience store, one of the few places I heard recorded music that appealed to me (Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man").
Actually, a lot of the background music was smooth jazz with violins or synthesizers that pass for violins. It was actually kind of pleasant compared to the rap and other styles the main characters liked.
Family was important here. Although Jackson's character didn't seem to have anyone except her cat, at least she had friends and a job. I did like the cat and its friends, in the one scene.
Chicago was probably my favorite character. He was funny and likable, most of the time.
Janet Jackson has a nice smile and she can have a nice personality when it is called for. Sometimes here, she had to be depressed or angry. That's fine. She did it well.
And this is my third or fourth time seeing the talents of 2Pac, who was taken away too soon. Although it was not necessarily his finest work, he did a good job here.
I mostly know Regina King from "227". Has it really been that long? She was so much older even here, but she did a good job.
Beautiful mountains and magnificent bridges added to the scenery. Some scenes, and not necessarily pleasant ones, let us enjoy these longer.
These people live hard lives and have tragedy all around them. That's why this is not an easy movie to watch. But having family around means a lot.
It may not be for you, but if you need to get outside your comfort zone, this will be a worthwhile experience.
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