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Guava Island (2019)

TV-MA | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 13 April 2019 (USA)
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A young musician seeks to hold a festival to liberate the oppressed people of Guava Island, even if only for a day.

Director:

Hiro Murai

Writers:

Donald Glover (story by), Stephen Glover (story by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Glover ... Deni Maroon
Rihanna ... Kofi Novia
Letitia Wright ... Yara Love
Nonso Anozie ... Red Cargo
Alan Jael Velázquez Abreu Alan Jael Velázquez Abreu ... Kito
Renny Arozarena Renny Arozarena ... Butcher
Betiza Bistmark Calderón Betiza Bistmark Calderón ... Emani Dune
Michael Ricardo Crespo Cardenas Michael Ricardo Crespo Cardenas ... Deni's Assassin
Barbara Janet Martinez Barbara Janet Martinez ... Shopkeeper Woman
Ayensi Amilgar Jardines Delgado Ayensi Amilgar Jardines Delgado ... Dodo
Pedro Julio Diaz Pedro Julio Diaz ... Deni's Neighbor
Pedro Julio Díaz Ferran Pedro Julio Díaz Ferran ... Deni's Neighbor
Adrián Cisneros Flores Adrián Cisneros Flores ... Fish Seller
Talia Gómez Talia Gómez ... Red's Secretary
Victor Manuel Correa Magueira Victor Manuel Correa Magueira ... Red's Chauffeur
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Storyline

Small time musician Deni Maroon and his loving girlfriend, Kofi Novia, live on a beautiful but impoverished small tropical island called Guava Island that's controlled by a brutal paramilitary group, Red Cargo. The island's main resource is a beautiful, expensive, blue silk produced by a silkworm unique to the island, but the island's textile industry and export is controlled by the paramilitary group and the islanders are forced to work for them every they of the week - the women at the textile factory, and the men at the shipping docks. One day, Deni, who works part time at the docks and part time as the local radio station's house musician whose passionate music is extremely popular among the islanders, decides to hold a secret concert in the evening to make everyone happy, if only for a day. However, the leader of Red Cargo, who also controls the textile industry and export, warns Deni not to do it or the islanders will be too tired to come to work the day after the concert and he...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Guava Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Havana, Cuba

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Regency Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Premiered after Childish Gambino's April 12th, 2019 Coachella set on Amazon Prime See more »

Goofs

During the "This is America" scene, Deni Maroon is seen with a coworker at the docks. When the coworker gets on the payphone, there are no dancers in the background. Then they appear, disappear, and reappear again behind Deni. See more »

Quotes

Red Cargo: So, you play the guitar?
Deni Maroon: I like to think I do a little more than that.
See more »

Connections

References Dancer in the Dark (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Baila Mi Rumba
Written by Francisco Fellove Valdes
Performed by Julio Gutiérrez
Courtesy of Craft Recordings, a division of Concord
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting experiment that works better as an hour long music video rather than a film
19 April 2019 | by brandonhjbtSee all my reviews

TL;DR - A pretty average movie with decent writing, a paper thin plot, and underdeveloped (but well acted) characters. However it is a fun movie to watch and you will enjoy yourself for the short 55 minute run time (probably more if you are a Childish Gambino fan like myself)

Plot - My biggest complaint with the movie as a whole. The plot in the movie is virtually non existent and just serves as a framework for events in the movie to happen the way they do. It boils down to Deni Maroon (Donald Glover) wants to throw a performance and the boss of the island (Nonso Anozie) doesn't want there to be one cause he doesn't want the people to miss a day of work. There feels like there is no conflict or any tension (which was probably what was intended) in the plot until around ¾ of the way into the movie where the movie takes a sizable risk that really does nothing in the grand scheme of the movie as it comes too late for it to have any repercussions on the plot. Overall the plot was pretty non existent and is the worst element of the film

Characters - All well acted and everyone looks like they're having a good time which translates into the actors having good chemistry with one another. All of them, excluding Donald Glover's character, are all painfully underdeveloped and it's hard to care for any of them other than Deni Maroon (Donald Glover). The main antagonist (Nonso Anozie) also has no real motivation against Deni and his reasoning is just plain stupid and irrational which makes his character pretty laughable. Kofi Novia (Rihanna) is the love interest of Deni and gets the most character development outside of Deni and although she is a large part of the story, she doesn't really do anything outside of being a plot device (and she barely is that). If anything I would have loved to see Deni and Kofi's relationship developed over more than 3 scenes in the movie. Deni Maroon (Donald Glover) gets all the development and is definitely a likeable protagonist, not much more to say about him. Yara Love (Letitia Wright) is Kofi's co-worker and serves no function in the story, best I can say about her is that Letitia looks like she's having a blast playing her in this movie.

Music - Well implemented and mixed well. Whether you like the songs in the movie comes down to personal taste (they're all part of Childish Gambino / Donald Glover's catalog of music, I won't spoil which ones). The instrumental in the background of some scenes however is great and fits the setting and tone of the movie perfectly; the best element of the movie in my opinion

Cinematography - Not much to say here, it's serviceable. However the film is presented with a weird aspect ratio that you may like or dislike

All other elements of the movie like the sound design and editing were all serviceable, nothing terrific but nothing too bad at all worth mentioning

Overall the movie works better in my opinion as an hour long music video, rather than a film as the plot and characters were either done poorly or were painfully average to the point where the music elements of the film were the shining components and show what this movie could have been with better film elements. With that being said it is most certainly a fun watch when you have an hour to kill. (5/ 10)


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