Tuesday, 27 January 2009

B.I.G Shoes to Fill

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. 


Ondo Lady said...

This is another film that I have to see this year. Mmmmm 2009 is shaping up nicely on the movie front and we are only just one month in.

Kwana said...

Thanks for the review. I was a huge biggie fan. It's in release here already. My kids want to see it but it's a no go for them with the rating.

MsQuiche said...

@ Ondo Lady, the year has certainly gotten off to a good start, hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

@ Kwana, it's waaaay too explicit, even more so than I assumed (naive, I know). Very entertaining though, and a must for Biggie fans.

Matilda Egere-Cooper said...

I'm glad someone else has seen it, so now we can talk... :)

Jamal was good as Biggie methinks.

IMO, Luke just had Diddy's dance down to a T. Not sure about the personality tho.

I liked Lil Kim. I actually didn't recognise Naturi @ all.

I thought Anthony Mackie wasn't half bad as Pac.

Faith was....hmmmm. Aight.

Overall good film (and Hanover GRAND! Those were THE DAYS!!!!!!)

MsQuiche said...

Mmmm, you see I had a hard time accepting Naturi as a Kim, maybe it's because I still see her as the cutesy baby faced singer from 702. And I wasn't feeling the way Kim was portrayed either. She came across as really needy, weak and insecure. And I'm sure at some point she was all of those things, but I dunno, I just wished they had tapped into her complexities more. I can totally understand why she was mad and now wants to tell her side of the story, lol.

Janice aka Miss Mad News said...

I will definitely check out this film.

I read some one that one particular sex scene was a little much.

Janice aka Mad News said...

Since the film's release in the US, his lovers (Charlie Baltimore/Lil Kim , have been arguing over who he really loved...who was just a 'jump off', going on about how much they loved him... blah blah blah.

First let me say that I was a fan of Bigs music, but to this day I still find myself asking the same question, what did any of those women see in him???

MsQuiche said...

Janice, I found myself asking that very same question throughout the film, lol.

Seems like his former mistresses are all losing the plot. Just read this quote from Biggie's mum about Lil Kim on YB.

“She felt the character we chose for her was ‘too dark,’ ” Wallace said. “Do you know why the character was too dark for her? Because she’s a white woman trapped in a black woman’s body, and you can tell the world I said it, because those are Lil’ Kim’s words. She should be ashamed of herself.”

Methinks Kim needs a biopic of her own. That woman's got a whole bag o' issues.

MsQuiche said...

Meant YBF by the way

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.