Dir. Hiro Murai; Wri. Stephen Glover; Sto. Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Ibra Ake, Jamal Olori & Fam Udeorji
With so many damn writers, you’d think it’d be overflowing with story. It isn’t. It’s described as a thriller on Amazon, but a comedy musical on IMDb. Hmm, it’s obviously experimental. So, is this good experimental, or bad?
From just the vibe and tone I got, it was fun to exist here for a while, especially as it looks so sublime. Whether that is just the beginning of your enjoyment, or the end, depends if you trust the motive behind the films existence.
The question I was asking, unlike during most other movies, was not “am I enjoying this?” Yes, I was. But it was, “what is this?” and “why does this exist?” The main reason I like film in general so much is that people can use that potential they’ve been given to send a message to an infinite amount of people with just some images in a row, unlike theatre which is more exclusive. So, if you make a movie you better not waste it in my book.
It’s hard to say how enjoyable this is. It depends how irritated you get by the seeming vanity involved. If Donald Glover is using his music to send a positive message, great - freedom of expression etc. If he is using the film to sell his music then, uhhh… really?
From the start, you see him run through the streets and everyone, I mean everyone, says a cheery hello to him. Even all the kids know him and he is, to all intents and purposes, the personification of freedom on Guava Island. He is a musician who wants a festival for people to enjoy, but his boss doesn’t want this (that’s the extent of the story). And then it escalates rapidly near the end. One minute it’s just a fun music video on a nice island, and then someone attempts murder?! Maybe the description ‘thriller’ should have given me a clue… By the finale, he is the centre of a procession, being held up like their saviour.
So, I ask myself again, is the message an excuse for a film, or the motivation? If the words ‘a film by Childish Gambino’ hadn’t appeared at the start, I’d probably go with the latter and this would be a film and vibe I’d like to return to on a hot summers day.
#guavaisland #film #vod