I've just returned from a screening of Notorious, the film based on the life of the Notorious B.I.G, and have to admit: I quite enjoyed it. I wasn't a huge Biggie fan back in the day, but ended up with both of his albums and played the life out of his posthumous release 'Life After Death.' Now I'll admit I was initially skeptical when I heard this film was in production. I mean, what was the point? He only passed away the other day (in reality it's been nearly 12 years, wow) and the story too familiar to be of dramatic interest. But I was wrong. Sitting in the cinema I found myself fully immersed in the narrative, feeling a pang of nostalgia, not to mention proper old, as I realised how quickly time has caught up with us all. The music was the soundtrack of my youth, as I'm sure it was for many other twenty and thirty-somethings. Big Poppa took me back to the days of hooking up with my first serious boyfriend. Mo Money, Mo Problems took me back to my carefree student days when Wednesday nights you would find me raving at Hanover Grand without a care in the world. Oh I could go on and on. You know what else I came up with? Puffy, as much as he grates, is a genius. You lose track of how much he has achieved and at such a young age. He was in his mid twenties when Biggie died. Just a baby.
The casting for the film was pretty much spot on. Jamal Woolard who plays Biggie thankfully brought it home after a shaky start. I really admire Derek Luke as an actor, but the verdict is still out on whether he did a commendable job as Puffy. I think he just slightly lacked the cocky swagger we've come to know and love. The job of portraying Voletta Wallace wasn't much of a stretch for Angela Bassett, as we've seen her play the role of strong black matriarch on countless occasions (what happened to the Jamaican accent though)? The actress who played Faith was good, although I wasn't wholly convinced of Naturi Naughton's portrayal of Lil Kim. I dunno, she just didn't seem believable.
But all in all, a very watchable film. And it's nice to see a piece of history we helped to create get the Hollywood treatment. The film is on general release on Feb 13th. Try and support.