Netflix Recommendation: “Dope”



Title: Dope
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Posted July 19, 2016 by

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“Dope” is the story of a young kid named Malcom (Moore), a self-proclaimed nerd growing up in a single-parent home in The Bottoms in Inglewood, California. You either make something of yourself and escape the tough streets of The Bottoms or you turn to a life of crime in order to survive. Malcolm is at a delicate age where the decisions he will be making will directly affect the kind of life he will lead going forward. When he meets a a beautiful woman, Nakia (played by the talented Zoe Kravitz), he ends up going to a party for a drug dealer named Dom (Mayers) and that’s when things go from normal to extremely dangerous very quickly. What was a once a boy about to graduate high school and apply for colleges is now a young man who finds himself in the possession of narcotics that he must sell in order to ensure a future.

“Dope”, much like its main character, is not content with the ideology that it must be one thing or the other. Mixing a few different genres in order to tell a complete story, this film has a little something for everyone: comedy, crime, action, and drama. What is on the surface a story of one guy and his two friends (played by Revolori and Clemons) trying to sell these drugs so they can go back to their normal lives is actually a complex and genuine telling of how every person has at least two sides to themselves and while certain actions are slippery slopes (a term that pops up multiple times throughout the movie) they’re not necessarily what can ultimately define you.


While the tough streets of The Bottoms is a constant threat, writer and director, Rick Famuyiwa, breaks up the tension with character studies that are not only interesting but highly entertaining. There’s the punk band the three kids of have formed “Awreeoh” (pronounced Oreo) that actually play catchy tunes that could easily become hits for a real band — it doesn’t hurt they had Pharrell Williams put these songs together. There’s Blake Anderson (Workaholics) who plays Will Sherwood — a guy the kids met at band camp that is a genius and also a hacker who steals information from businesses as well as prep schools ala Aaron Swartz. Then there’s Jaleel (Quincy Brown) and his sister Lily (Chanel Iman), two rich kids who have become bored with their privileged lives and wish to do things a little more dangerously. All of these characters that would normally be reserved for smaller roles or to stand idly by in the background are brought to the forefront to join in and create a lot the fun found in this movie.

The film delivers a profound speech on what it means to be a human. How society perceives certain people based on their culture, their race, or their religious beliefs. How certain actions may look impressive for a person that is Caucasian but how those same actions are questioned if the person is African-American. A powerful film that allows to have fun while also hammering home a message that will force you to question a lot of things that go on in our society and how we live our lives on a day-to-day basis.

“Dope” is currently streaming on Netflix and it should be the first thing you add to your Watch List.





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