Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (Netflix)

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION, that just premiered on Netflix this past weekend, is thankfully another solid original from the streaming platform, and yet another movie you probably haven’t heard of. Why is it always the good ones that no one hears about or watches, yet you guys kept jerking off to Hubie Halloween this past weekend? Seriously, has this pandemic gotten you all on the spectrum? HOW HAS HUBIE HALLOWEEN BEEN #1 ON NETFLIX SINCE FRIDAY YOU FUCKING HACKS?!?!? **cools down** Anyway, for every Hubie there is something like this that maybe people will discover weeks, months, or years down the line, especially if it gets an Oscar nomination or two this year. I don’t know if this will, haven’t done much research on it other than that it’s 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. IMDB describes this film with the following: “Radha is a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, who is desperate for a breakthrough before 40. Reinventing herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime, she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theater in order to find her true voice.” Although the movie bogs down in some cliches, such as her embarrassing herself the first time she is on stage, the best friend agent, and the unlikely love interest, those aspects are quickly forgiven when you realize this is an excellently told gentrification movie about gentrification and overcoming those odds. This isn’t only surface level in your face gentrification themes like the ho-hum Vampires Vs. The Bronx that came out a couple of weeks ago on the same streaming platform. This gentrification is much more subtle, and it goes deep down under the surface, where it should be.

There are not any recognizable faces in this movie, so try to go in with an open mind, and this movie is also in black and white, which I think added a unique look and layer to the film other than if it had just been in color. There are a few snippets of color, but they are used in the right places to strap down the themes the movie has in store for you. With all of that, and even a tad bit over a two hour run time, the movie is very entertaining and well acted. Radha Black has not only crafted an important screenplay that opens the window a little into her biographical life while hitting home important racial and sex themes, but she even has some solid acting chops and a nice eye behind the camera. I don’t know what made her film this in black and white, but it was definitely a nice touch and makes it stand out from other films in that genre. She also frames shots very well, and moves the camera to character point of view with perfect flow and grace. The freestyle rapping was actually decent, didn’t feel staged or fake and had some nice beats. The film also took its time to get to familiar story beats which made them not so familiar, even when you know what is going to happen at the end of the opening night of her play that was taken over by pretentious white douche bags. The subtle themes relating to Radha’s mother was a nice little footnote in the story as well, very emotional. There is nothing much more to say other than to give this movie a chance if you are looking for a pleasing drama that is smart if you need a vacation from the dumb stupid idiotic same old same old bullshit from Adam Sandler. Come on guys, let’s either get him to do better or cancel his ass altogether. Grow some brains during this fucking shit year.

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