30 November 2019 | view_and_review
Let me exhale here for a bit. This movie was heavy. I could barely stand the weight of it, it was so heavy.
Let me get the accolades out of the way.
The script. Great.
Cicely Tyson. Solid.
Paul Winfield. Excellent.
Larry B. Scott (whom I'd only known as Lamar in Revenge of the Nerds). Spectacular. He easily rivaled the performance of Timothy Hutton who won an Oscar for his role in Ordinary People.
This was a deep movie dealing with drug use in South Central Los Angeles. But it was more than that though wasn't it? At the forefront was a 13-year-old Benjie (Larry B. Scott) who's method of dealing with being fatherless was turning to hard drugs. There's little sadder than a kid strung out on drugs.
The backdrop to that was his mother's boyfriend, Butler (Paul Winfield), trying his best to fill the father void while constantly being rebuffed by Benjie. Sweets (Cicely Tyson), Benjie's mother, was trying desperately to maintain a relationship with her son as well as her partner Butler.
And behind all of that was an environment of social justice as Black folks in the ghetto struggled to carve a niche out for themselves while fighting drugs, crime, and the man.
All of these plot elements plus the magnificent performances made for an awesome movie. It is jarring most times, angering other times, and down right sad sometimes. The moments of levity are few and far in between. You'll beg for a happy ending while realizing that what brings happiness is relative.