Candyman (2021) Film Review

Rating 12
Length 1h31
Release 27.8.2021
Director Nina DaCosta
About In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, Anthony and his partner move into a loft in the now gentrified Cabrini. A chance encounter with an old-timer exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman. Anxious to use these macabre details in his studio as fresh grist for paintings, he unknowingly opens a door to a complex past that unravels his own sanity and unleashes a terrifying wave of violence.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Playing in Cinemas now

The Good

  • The cinematography is absolutely stunning. Not only in of itself, but in the parallels from the original. Its artistic, its complimentary and its beautiful.
  • The shadow puppets used to tell the myth and legend of Candyman are perfect use of storytelling.
  • The story convincingly weaves in the narrative from the 1992 film, while ensuring those who come to this film without seeing the precursor won’t feel excluded. While a sequel, it does work as a stand-alone
  • The cast is diverse. Not only do we have a gay couple, we have an interracial gay couple. There is comments in reviews stating that it is only white people that are killed in this film. Well, I urge them to take a second watch.

The Bad

  • There’s a b-plot storyline surrounding the protagonist’s girlfriend; played beautifully by Teyonna Paris. The plot thread fits in really well and certainly gives the audience and opportunity to understand and sympathise with Brianna. However, its dropped as quickly as it was brought up. It’s almost as if a scene or two were cut and they would have made it more than this filler story.
  • I do find it odd that the one thing that didn’t carry over from the original, was the protagonist being arrested, or even questioned by the police. With all the clever parallels, it’s a shame this one was missed.

The Ugly

  • The reviews outside trying to say this is a racist movie. From “its too political” to “Only white people die”. God, you can just feel the white privilege oozing off the reviews. This movie is telling the same story that was told in 1992. Only bloody difference is that the protagonist was white and provided an almost smokescreen to viewers.
    This *is* a political movie. It is a black movie, it always was. The story’s origins come from Liverpool and the class divide there. As soon as the story’s movie moved from the UK to USA, Chicago in particular, the race divide was much more acute. Gentrification in the USA was about race. However, it is still about class divide. Both then, and now. To boil it down and go ‘urg, too political’ does a disservice to everyone involved. Be honest, just say ‘it made me uncomfortable’ because that’s what you really mean.
  • The other aspect of ‘too political’, could perhaps be the final act in which the police shoot someone without due cause, much in the same way Candyman was imprisoned. Yes, it might hit home a little different in the wake of George Floyd. However, to think this ending was put in *because* of George Floyd shows you’re part of the problem. The protests, the outrage, the lingering memory of his name is not because he was an isolated incident but because it was so frequent.
    The easiest way to put this argument to bed? This film was due for a June 2020 release. George Floyd was killed 25th May 2020. This film was wrapped and in the can way before then, so that ending was already filmed.

Final Thoughts

A little cleaner, much more clear cut than its direct predecessor. The final act, in the wake of George Floyd , may make some feel uncomfortable. Hell, some people will go so far as to say it’s ‘too political’. Well, isn’t that because you feel guilty? For me, that means this film has most definitely done its job.

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