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‘A Brixton Tale’ review: Ambitious film about social media & relationships

Social media is everywhere.

A Brixton Tale is a topical movie that is currently screening at the Slamdance Film Festival. The film covers a theme that has been increasingly prominent over the past few years. A wealthy YouTuber named Leah (Lily Newmark) chooses a young man named Benji (Ola Orebiyi) to be the subject of a documentary she is making. There need for edgier content leads them down a violent path.

Social media is an inescapable part of the modern world. This includes movies, which in recent years has seen entries like Host, Searching, and Assassination Nation all cover the subject. Due to this influx, A Brixton Tale will immediately invite comparison. It tells a strong enough story to stand on its own, but there are some recognizable tropes.

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For some reason, a common trait among many of these films is the seeming need to cover a wide range of topics. A Brixton Tale is no different as it deals with art and its creation, race, and friendship. This is on top of its commentary on social media. That is a lot for one movie to take in. Especially for one that seems to have a solid premise already.

'A Brixton Tale' review: Ambitious film about social media & relationships

As is often the case when a story takes on a wide range of topics, A Brixton Tale is hit and miss. The short run time often moves on to a new topic before the current one has been adequately explored. This gives an erratic feel to the movie that is perfect for social media. This does not work as well with some of the other themes that are explored, however. 

When A a Brixton Tale does connect the dots, it is an excellent watch. The score and atmosphere bring a great feel to the film. When it deals with ideas of exploitation and art, the film is especially engaging. Leah and Benji are also a great couple to watch. Following their relationship over the course of A Brixton Tale is the highlight of the film. Newmark and Orebiyi are fantastic in their roles. It is a classic story brought into the modern world.

A Brixton Tale is a good movie that would have been better served with a more focused story. The film has some pacing issues that are helped by its strong lead performances and supporting cast. Ultimately, the movie never quite hits the all the marks it wants to. Still, it manages to tell an engaging story that audiences should enjoy.

The Slamdance Film Festival takes place from February 12-25. Virtual tickets can be purchased at the official site.

 

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