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Just give it a viewing if you know someone who owns the movie and make your own decision. That is my two cents worth.
No Brooklyn Babylon isn't a cinematic classic, but it beats almost everything else geared towards the young urban demographic with it's intelligence & relatability.
This film is easy going, mellow and uncomplicated. In other words, it's realistic in its simplicity.
Sure, the Romeo and Juliet storyline has been done many times before, and "Brooklyn Babylon" isn't some grand retelling of R & J.
And that's why it's strong.
Unlike "Romeo + Juliet" and "Romeo Must Die" this film doesn't rely on flair, flash and occasional overacting to drive the story.
The relationship between the two leads is believable and yes, while at first, it's the differences between them that attracts them to each other, when you break it down, they love each other DESPITE those differences.
And they do make a good couple on screen. The pairing of Tariq Trotter and Karen Goberman is much more believable than that of DiCaprio-Danes and Jet Li-Aaliyah in their respective movies.
At first, I thought the ending was too abrupt, but after I let the film sink in, I grew to appreciate its symbolism.
At the very least, if you're a Romeo and Juliet fan, rent this movie. Approach the film with an open-mind, not with that of a professional critic or with the mindset of someone looking for the meaning of life and the question of why we are here.
It does have insight if you allow it to show you that.
1. although this movie is nominally concerned with the evils of racism, it uses some really ugly racial sterotypes. the west indian day parade is depicted at a mindless orgy of primitives in strange costumes. in fact, there's an important spiritual side to carribean festivals, which this film totally ignores. the black folks are shown to be just a bunch of weed-smoking, irrational fools. consider the bizare advice sol's "father figure" gives him, and note the sceen where one brother procures some explosives -- and from whom? an arab. there's also the standard "big momma" character with a fake sounding west indian "you mus get an educaaashun"-type accent thrown in.
2. the film is narrated in a very way. not only are his vocal effects overdone, but the narrator breaks in to explain what's going on at times when doing so is unnecessary. there's never a need to have a narrator do a recap; the story itself should be clear.
3. the two main characters don't work well together. there's no sense that these two people would ever like each other, much less fall in love. the only thing it could be is the attraction of "the other" which was emphasized in mississippi masala, but either ignored here or handled in a trite -- "can i touch your hair" -- and offensive way.
4. brooklyn babylon just doesn't add anything to the genre. from "west side story" to "china girl" to "romeo must die" we've seen r&j material explored from a variety of stupid angles. why add another film to this mess? what was the director's new vision? other than changing the racial/gender dynamics slightly, there's no difference between this and any other r&j clone.
okay, the sound track is great. and, at times, the two main characters demonstrate some acting talent. So there are a few good spots, but there's not nearly enough to go around.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie deals with a very touchy but powerfully subject of inter racial love between two young people from very different yet quite similar religious sects and cultures.Published 16 months ago by norman mccalla
It was a great story but i wanted more but its not a bad movie u enjoy it its something fun to watchPublished on September 9, 2013 by victoria
Great indie film, loved it from beginning to end. Definitely a movie about religion and race relations. First saw this movie several years ago, glad to have it on dvd now.Published on July 30, 2013 by bsheba
I just wanted to add it to my collection as I had seen this before years ago on HBO or Showtime.Published on February 10, 2013 by S. Cooke
I've been trying to find this movie for years! Received it in no time and awesome quality! Thank you very much!Published on January 20, 2013 by K.O.
I love the roots as a rap group and now to see them in this movie is great. I date outside my race so I could relate to this movie very easily. Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by Sho'nuff
The DVD came on time but the plastic film was ripped. that wasn't good, cause it was a Birthday present.Published on December 21, 2009 by Anna Petlevaya
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