Dear White People (2014)


Comedy | Drama


Justin Simien




Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell, Malcolm Barrett, Brittany Curran, Marque Richardson, Peter Syvertsen, Justin Dobies, Brandon Alter, Keith Myers, Naomi Ko


At an Ivy League college, a controversy over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students breaks out.


I've heard so many good things about "Dear White People", I absolutely needed to watch it. It took me several years to do it - and just to be clear, the fact that Netflix is basing a series on it doesn't have anything to do with that. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. It is a quite smart satirical film, but it isn't that funny and at times it can be quite tedious.

There isn't much of a plot still the story does have the basis to be interesting and engaging, and that's essentially because of the film's black characters. Instead of being stupid stereotypes, they are archetypes of today's college people, with their own personalities whose only common thing is the colour of the skin. On the other hand, there are the white characters. They are quite stereotyped, and they kind of kill the film's message about racism.

Anyway, the film still addresses the important issue of racism (in college campuses) decently, but most important, it goes deep into its characters and ends up being a movie about finding one's identity and accepting oneself in a world where issues about race, sexual orientation and more still exist. I particularly enjoyed the inner conflict of Sam, the mulatto leading lady who feels the need to prove she's black just because her father is white.

As for Justin Simien, he did a good job as a writer, but I can't' say the same as a director. At times it almost feels like he doesn't know how to deal with the film's themes, the pace is slow which only made some potentially humorous situations not work, and there also was some weird, awkward staging at times.

On the positive side, there's the cast who carry the film gracefully and gives the film's matters the care they deserve. Tessa Thompson doesn't always express through the face the same emotions she delivers through the voice, but overall she does a good job as she portrays Sam with wit. Tyler James Williams is adorable and very likeable as awkward Lionel, my favourite character because he doesn't try to change who he is.

1 comment :

  1. Glad you watched it, even if you didn't like it as much as I. It's one of my faves of 2014. I do understand your criticisms, though. The one I most agree with is the occasionally awkward staging and pacing that feels a bit stop-and-go. I thought Tessa Thompson was tremendous, though.