Wednesday, 2 September 2015

REVIEW - STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (F. GARY GRAY)


A movement in which there was much to be celebrated, and equally much to be criticised, depicted as one merely to be enjoyed in Straight Outta Compton. It's bold in atmosphere, if not in character, a fine-tuned whirlwind of clear-eyed clarity on a crazy set of circumstances. The hands of its executive-producing subjects are felt most clearly as such. Evoking the spirit of NWA's music, if not their lyrics, Straight Outta Compton is indeed an enjoyable film, a raucous recollection with pristine production values. It's not the film it ought to be, neither in hindsight nor during viewing, but for what it is, it's a passable way to spend two-and-a-half hours. But oh what a film it ought to be! No film exists in isolation, and every viewer contributes their own interpretation of what a particular film represents as they experience it - Straight Outta Compton tries to convince us it's one thing, but in the process is more convincing that it's the opposite: misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic. Its efforts are even less persuasive in that no-one involved seems to have noticed the regularity with which those qualities keep recurring. There's another story in here, the real story of how these men got to where the film presents them as being, not simply the story of what it's like to be there. The lack of broader cultural appreciation extends further, as it also denies any responsibility, or even potential thereof, for influence and evaluation in light of the current social climate, or even that in the years since Straight Outta Compton's action occurred. This is merely a film to be enjoyed, alas. And yes, along with all those other things, it is at least enjoyable.