Candyman

Candyman ★★★★

“You should say it. Say his name.”

I think that the original Candyman is more well-rounded and tighter, but I find that Nia DaCosta’s Candyman exceeds in it’s social relevance and as a reactionary companion piece to the original.

In many ways this is the inverse of the originals concept. A reflection of the social community that loses that tourist lens of the original in favor of a residential viewpoint. Gentrification is a huge theme in this film because of that change. And it’s able to circumvent and explore a lot of this communities ongoing struggles through this storytelling refraction. That end sequence is incredibly telling when you get a chance to fully unpack it all. 

This direction is phenomenal. I’m so sad that Nia is moving onto a Marvel film because I’d love to see more of her work in an unrestricted environment. I loved the focus and shot composition here. Confidence oozes out of every frame, which is amazing. I think you need to be confident in your work, especially when it involves such sensitive material. And every sequences here serves the bigger purpose. 

Love experiencing Cabrini Green again and I think (like with real places) the people who lived there bring it to life. The cast in this film is fantastic. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is tremendous here and I hope he starts to blow up, because he truly deserves it. Teyonah Parris is killer and her presence provides a lot of balance for this story. Colman Domingo is a god damn legend, and you can feel his commitment in every role he’s cast in. Would love to see him lead a film soon! Tony Todd is so satisfying to see again too. 

Now I have a few minor complaints with this piece. I would’ve liked to feel Tony Todd’s presence more, (especially his iconic voice) and I wish that the repurposed piano theme from the original was more present. 

At the end of the day this update to the mythos is compelling and socially prevalent. It’s a hell of a good time in its execution, but it leaves you with a lot to think about. Can’t wait to experience it again!

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