Still of Lou Diamond Phillips in Filly Brown
Sundance Film Festival
Directors: Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos
An LA-bred Latina with some attitude and musical talent, "Mojo" Tonorio, aka Filly Brown (Gina Rodriguez), aspires to be a hip hop artist while dealing with various familial conflicts, including an imprisoned mother and a father struggling to keep his job. Filly finally catches a break when a big-time producer signs her on, giving her a cash advance which she plans to use on lawyer fees for her mother's retrial. However, it comes at a price, as all contracts do, and in order to make it, she has to sell out her politically charged lyrics for more mainstream words and ditch her crew. I wonder what will happen next?! Though this film got a lot of hype and the cast included Lou Diamond Phillips as Filly's father and Edward James Olmos as the family's lawyer, it failed to live up to it. Expecting to see an inspiring film with a strong female character making her way in the misogynist world of hip hop, I was met with a dry and cliched script void of depth and passion. There was a glimmer of hope when, near the beginning of the film, Filly spits out some freestyle lyrics about her people's struggle with U.S. immigration laws, but it soon dissipated as the movie began to follow the MTV-PG13-teen-dream formula. The last scene was the strongest of the entire film, but this tearjerking moment wasn't enough to redeem the previous 90 minutes. The sad thing is that with a few tweaks here and there, the story is a good one, and perhaps even something I'd expect to see with Clint Eastwood's name on it, but the lackluster dialogue and cheesy performances broke any chance of this film making serious waves in cinema.
Time: 12:15 pm Date: 1/24/2012 Venue: Eccles Theatre
Time: 5:30 pm Date: 1/27/2012 Venue: Library Center Theatre