By Lizzette Cormier (Houston, Texas)
This year’s Sundance Film Festival featured a dramatic film I consider an inspirational thought-provoking work. For lovers of nineties hip-hop, the movie Dope is a fan favorite.
This is the creative story of high school geek Malcolm and his three friends striving to survive their senior year in the Bottoms, a neighborhood in Inglewood, California. Malcolm, Diggy and Jib, are outcasts infatuated with 90’s hip-hop music and fashion. An exceptional student our protagonist, Malcolm aspires to enroll in Harvard. While Diggy struggles with her sexual orientation, Jib works to get others to accept his multicultural ethnicity.
Seeking the assistance of one of his professors Malcolm is on course to fulfill his dream when he runs into Nakia, played by Zoë Kravitz. Approached by a local drug dealer, Malcolm meets Nakia delivering a message from her former flame Dom. An invitation to Dom’s birthday party sparks an inducement by Nakia for Malcolm to join her. At first, he refuses, however, she insists and Malcolm goes from geek to drug mole overnight.
Unsure of his own individuality, throughout the movie Malcolm is challenged by outsiders to embrace his true character. Malcolm struggles to discover who he is and justify himself to others. A constant question, “Who are you?” is posed to Malcolm. The response, “I’m just Malcolm,” is sufficient for Malcolm but proves less than acceptable to others.
Suspense and intrigue captivate audiences as serious challenges, mishaps, and eventful moments put Malcolm in a fierce fight to come into his own and overcome his stereotype. Daunted with a task beyond his capabilities, Malcolm’s adventures reveal his courage, strength, and character; proving to him to be worthy of his highest dream and expectation – to be a Harvard man.
Dope is the dopiest film I’ve seen in years and the soundtrack is a “must have” collector’s item.