Sanaa Lathan’s directorial debut shines

(From left) Jamila C. Gray, Justin Martin and Mike Epps in On The Come Up.

(From left) Starring Jamila C. Gray, Justin Martin and Mike Epps coming soon.
photo: Paramount+

From the first moment there is a comforting sense of familiarity coming soon, an upbeat and energetic coming-of-age film about a fictional teenage rapper who is forced to choose between identity and career after his overnight success. But despite the familiarity everywhere — from the protagonist’s soothing voiceover telling her story like a fairy tale, to her typical high school public hallway — actress-turned-director Sanaa Lathan is confident. The feature film directorial debut also has an undeniable authenticity.like the hatred you givealso adapted from Angie Thomas’ best-selling book, coming soonThe protagonist is a well-recognized, complex, and resilient black girl—and this time, she puts her stamp on a field that is culturally mostly male.

The 16-year-old is the talented rapper Bri (notable newcomer Jamila C. Gray), who has a lot of responsibilities between her studies, the limited financial resources of her single mother Jay (Lathan herself), and the dreaded Impressive legacy Her late father, an iconic host named Lawless, fell victim to senseless gun violence as he began to reap the rewards of his burgeoning career. Brie was then forced to grow up faster than she was ready, especially after her mother disappeared due to drug use. She and Jay reconcile, but the unresolved issues create an undercurrent of tension that has been brewing between them by sharp screenwriter Kay Oyegan.

All of these elements may seem cliché at first glance, especially when Jay (briefly) disapproves of Bree in the same profession that led to her husband’s death. But Oyegun and Lathan approach the material with poise and sincerity, which makes Bri’s journey worthwhile as she competes on the local fight rap scene and eventually begins to long for something bigger outside of her amateur pursuits achievement. She also faces hurdles at a school whose diversity initiatives appeared to be progressive, but whose administrators failed to discipline a security guard who assaulted and handcuffed Bri for selling candy at the school, showing their true colors.

Still, Bri manages to stay ahead of the sparring, especially with her support, the support of her bubbly mentor Aunt Pooh (a scene-stealing Da’Vine Joy Randolph), and her childhood friend-turned-romance interest Malik (Michael Cooper Jr. ) in another. But what happens when Bri’s father’s former manager, now a hipster business mogul Supreme (Cliff “Method Man” Smith.

Coming Soon | Official Trailer | Paramount+

Written by Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Rapsody, who provided the poetic lyrics and rhymes for the entire film, Bri’s song became a viral hit. But does its fictional gangster theme really represent Bree as an artist and a person? Or, when even a little success can provide her and her mother with unprecedented financial breathing space, integrity is a luxury that Bri shouldn’t be worried about?

be the answer to all questions sold out Of course, it’s obvious — and the canvas around Bri is sometimes crowded to a fault.But a dizzying cast of actors keeps audiences engaged consistently until coming soon Draws predictable life lessons. The parent-teen chemistry between Leyson and Gray in particular—marked by love and conflict—is especially noteworthy.

A shrewd performer with a gritty character – her career-oriented accountant unexpectedly finds love in the underrated new stuff Especially in the back of my mind – Ryson highlights Jay’s regrets and parenting ambitions with heartbreaking poignancy. Grey’s thoughtfulness is complemented by Bree’s fragility, hidden beneath a veneer of toughness. Together, they elevate this adaptation from capable to compelling, smoothing out some of the film’s rough edges with softness and optimism that is hopeful not only for Brie, but for Lysson’s next film as director full of hope.

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