Thursday, September 02, 2010

Prince of Broadway

After a 2008 festival run, The Prince of Broadway, an indie-film directed by Sean Baker, will begin it's limited USA release beginning in New York City.

The film so far has glowing reviews, but watching this film I struggled to embrace it as critics at Variety, Film Threat & Village Voice.

The film tells the story of a street hustler named Lucky (played by Prince Adu) selling knock-off purses and shoes in New York City. Lucky is surprised when an ex-girl friend drops off a year and a half year old baby with him, claiming it is his son.

Now, I can appreciate a different story about someone in New York trying to make it in a unique sector of the cities fashion district, but I think what this film brings in realism it lacks in entertainment. In fact, watching this film is like watching a unfortunate situation turn increasingly unfortunate.

This is not your warm fuzzy family movie. Clearly, Simon Baker is not trying to sugar coat anything, and I don't criticize Baker's direction, but as a father of a toddler watching such an awful situation, I found this film very unappealing on a personal level. Only when Lucky is setting up a Pack 'N Play with great struggles, did I smile.

I think the other part where this film struggles is that the dialogue seems improvised, and when the actors seemed loss for a line they would just repeat expletives to create a flow to dialogue.

Additionally, the co-lead of the film Karren Karagulian (playing Levon Krikorian) actually does a really nice job in the film, but somehow his character in the film seems inconsistent (friendly and giving vs. heartless and aggressive). Had this role been written more focused or clear might have been better as well.

The film is a unique view of New York City. It's a challenging film, which obviously isn't bad at all. But it's definitely not an entertaining film, you can skip the popcorn and soda.

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