“Let’s make art interesting…” Those four words echoed in my mind as I watched Spike Lee’s Chiraq movie. The film was interesting, thought provoking and entertaining.

Chi-raq Movie Review

chiraqmovieIn my podcast I mention what made the film so fascinating. Listen to the podcast above.

The Chi-raq cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, John Cusack, Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris as well as Steve Harris and Angela Bassett. The film is based on the ancient Greek play Lysistrata. In Chi-raq the women–fed up with the violence in Chicago–stage a no peace/no pussy demonstration. Their aim is to get their men to put the guns down. The film–a satire–is full of rhyming dialogue and comedy. For such a serious subject, famed director, Spike Lee worked boldly in bringing this film to life.

Film goers who are bored with narrative dramas about violence will be pleasantly surprised with Lee’s take with Chi-raq. Nick Cannon fans will also be shocked with this dramatic turn for the president of Nickelodeon. I must admit I had to do a double take. I found myself saying, “Wow. That’s Nick Cannon?” As a director, myself, I would have never thought to cast Nick in the role as Chi-raq and yet he was absolutely perfect.

When talk of Chi-raq began months ago, many critics and non-critics alike, criticized Lee’s decision of making a “satire” film. Some said, “How can he make a comedy about such a serious topic?” But, if anyone actually understands comedy, comedians, and humor, you’ll know that comedy is on the other side of tragedy.

Throughout the film–with its statistics, and dramatic reprieves, the audience could see that violence in Chicago is a serious problem. Yes, there was rhyming dialogue, choreographed scenes, and a hilarious town crier, but I left the movie theater thinking that the people of Chicago need more assistance than they’re being given.

Here’s the trailer to the film.

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Peace & Love,

Yasmin

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