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Film Review: Uncorked

By Rapmusiq
Uncorked is the Netflix banger we all need in these trying times. If you haven’t seen this film, stop reading, go watch it and come back to this article. Because it’s about to be spoiler central. First things, first, this film is Black AF [insert Black Power fist emoji]. It captures everyday black folks in their natural environment. Not suffering, not battling some undisclosed white villain; but simply living their lives. The realistic family dynamic is incredibly relatable.

Everyone has parents and/or parental figures with expectations of us. We all have that cousin who expects freebies but would give us the shirt of their back if we needed it. The gaze both in Memphis and in Paris is black folks viewing black folks. The references made are our own inside jokes and kitchen table talk. The cast invites us in with its clear star power: the national treasure Niecy Nash, Courtney B. Vance aka the luckiest man on the planet (google his wife) and newcomer Mamoudou Athie, who is absolutely lovable from the moment he steps on the screen. His character Elijah is your brother, cousin, boyfriend, best friend. We all have an Elijah in our life. The unassuming, quiet guy who is just trying to figure out his next step. Did I mention he is absolutely beautiful? I digress.

The story is what we all need because it’s not about struggle, strife, racism or slavery. It’s about a young man loving his family and making his way in the world; something we can all relate to. While he has love in his life, it is not the primary focus of his life or the film. His relationship is a healthy source of support that does not define his character. And while he experiences challenges he also experiences realistic solutions to them. We all get a collective win as he smashes through his barriers.

The film isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though. He experiences wins and losses. We are allowed the space as an audience to process them along with him. We are also privy to the complexities of parental love and the ways in which a parent’s hopes and dreams projected onto their child can become a breeding ground for disappointment and resentment. The film’s ending is strangely satisfying as we continue to root for our hero down to the ending credits. Whether he is successful or not is irrelevant because he pushes forward despite his barriers (although deep down in my heart I know he makes it!). I give this film a 10 out of 10.

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