Published on April 27th, 2020 | by Neil Jordan0
Greetings & Salutations Everyone!
First, I owe the readers as well as my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ a heartfelt apology.
Like many folks out there, the coronavirus freaked me the hell out. I wasn’t necessarily worried about myself. I was more concerned with family members I looked after and how I would get by at work being an ‘essential employee’. For the record, I work in the shipping industry. When I wasn’t at work, I was barricading myself in my apartment and re-adopting the ‘hermit mentality’ so to speak. I let it get the best of me for a while there. I attempted to deal sleeping as much as possible or listening to music. I forgot about movies and games there for a while. The time arrived when I realized I had to pull myself together and get back to associating and interacting with humanity. With everything that’s going on, we’re all looking for ways to ‘escape’ at least temporarily and many folks are looking to movies to do so. That being said, I’ve been allowed the chance to share an excellent film choice with you today.
I’m not one for romantic films myself. However, on occasion .. a film of that genre will appear and when it’s incredibly well-done it will certainly catch my interest. A good drama never hurt anyone and one like this might very well be the thing that will take one’s mind of the craziness that currently has us all preoccupied.
Angelfish’ is a romantic drama directed by Peter Andrew Lee who co-wrote the film with Patrick Lee, Ella Mische, and Luna Del Rosario. The film stars Princess Nokia, Jimi Stanton, Erin Davie, Stanley Simons, Bobby Plasencia, Ivan Mendez, Kyle Glenn, Kaelyn Albert-Gonzalez, Claire McClanahan, Alejandra Ramos Riera, Sebastian Chacon, Sandy Tejada, Rosie Berrido, Edward J Fee, Marian Licha, Rob Figueroa, Lucy Bermudez, Richard Edelman, and Peg Moore-Maioriello.
New York City’s Bronx Burrough. The summer of 1993. Eva (Nokia) is a thoughtful and bright young lady spending her last summer with her friends before college starts in the fall while trying to live up to her mother’s aspirations for her while helping to care for her brother Julio (Mendez). She has dreams and aspirations for so much more than college and a ‘safe’ career.
Brenden (Stanton) is on a path to nowhere. By day, he’s a working-class guy just trying to make ends meet. At night, he’s doing everything he can to protect his teenage brother Conor (Simons) from going down the same self-destructive path their mother Mary (Davie) has. Unable to cope with the responsibility of being a parent, she rarely appears at home and when she does, she demands her sons avoid her. One day, the two cross paths and there’s an instant attraction. Their backgrounds couldn’t be any different. For Eva, everything has been mapped out. For Brenden, it’s a day-to-question of what happens next. Brenden encourages Eva to follow her dreams and Eva shows Brenden that life isn’t all doom and gloom and that there are people out there who aren’t there to just use you. The biggest challenge to their future though might be the expectations of one family and the assumptions of another family.
This film has got ‘heart’. Two individuals from different worlds drawn to one another step against the backdrop of New York culture at the beginning the last decade of the 20th century. The character development of Eva and Brenden is perfect in the sense that you get a notion I almost instantly of where they come from, the pressures they face based on the backgrounds, and what they have to face in the future prior to when they cross paths with one another. Once they do though, you’re rooting for them every step of the way. When they get to a hurtle or something happens, you instantly like, “Okay … it’s cool … you can get through this. Just pick yourself up and move on”. It’s Romeo & Juliet. Only without the fatal ending and minus the fairytale vibe. You could imagine it happening in real life because this kind of thing does happen. Every day. We just don’t see it.
I’d definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars due in great part to the acting. Stanton and Nokia make you believe in the characters. Even thought the movie is set in a specific time and place, you get the sense that it could be in any city and any era (it’s clearly NYC though). I sat through the whole thing without taking a break and at the end, I wished there had been more. The ending was one of the best parts though in the sense that it was left one-ended but that there was still possibility. That possibility of hope. Perfect for times like these in my humble opinion.