A little too earnest, but engagingly structured and told
A group of boys are playing basketball in the park when a father publicly disgracing his son draws everyone's attention. Years later, one of the boys looks back on events.
Based on a true event, this short film is structured well to be an engaging tale of childhood. With a great musical cue to open, the film sets the early 80's time period well, from the look to the sounds, and from here links to a tale of innocence but also one of regret. The humiliation of the young boy occurs quickly and is played out with slow-motion scenes before it is brought to an end by the boy's mother from here we have a semi-flashback, as a grown man appears on the street, managing to be part of the scene but also separate from events at the same time. This is a nice way of doing the "looking back" thing, and it gives the character and actor more to work with than if he had remained distant from the event in terms of the film.
The way things is compelling and it works well for bringing the guilt and shame of the main character back into the events as they play out, however it is not without flaw. The main thing for me was that the film is perhaps a bit overly earnest towards the events, given that they do have their foundation in reality. The use of slow-motion seemed unnecessary, while the choice of music tending to emphasis the drama before it came to fruition. This does still work in context, but it felt like it was pushing things a bit too quickly and I would have preferred that it seem smaller for longer, then the film could have ramped up more.
The work from Chukwu is still strong; good direction of camera and of cast throughout. The cast deliver well, with Mawry and Darby doing solid work in the young cast, while Domingo is engagingly human and haunted, doing quite a lot with comparatively limited screen time. Perhaps t is a bit too overly done, but it still engages in the telling.
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