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Movie Review: Filly Brown (2012)

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Filly Brown film

Source: IMDB

Plot Summary: (Taken from IMDB): A promising hip-hop rhymer from Los Angeles finds herself in a gray area when a record producer offers her a compromising shot at stardom.

My Review: One of the best aspects of this film is the characters. For instance, the main character Filly Brown is not just an aspiring rapper. She is also a protective older sister named Majo who is willing to do anything to free her jailed mother.

Also, Majo doesn’t take crap from anyone who hurts her or her loved ones. Meanwhile, her dad is a single parent and a contractor who puts up with prejudice from his employer to support his daughters. Another sympathetic character in the film is Filly’s younger sister Lupe, a teen on the verge of growing up too fast.

Another notable aspect of the film is the acting. Gina Rodriguez is great as Filly the rapper and Filly the person. Lou Diamond Phillips does a good job displaying the fierce and vulnerable sides to Filly’s dad. Last but not least, the late Jenni Rivera had an excellent film debut as Filly’s mother, playing the manipulative yet caring personality well.

Besides the characters and acting, the portrayal of the music industry was well done. Filly Brown’s experience shows how aspiring musicians of any genre may be forced to sacrifice who they are in order to sell lots of records. It also shows how big an ego musicians and record companies can have when they have lots of money.

Finally, the soundtrack was very good. The best songs in the film are the ones that Filly Brown does because they reflect her character development. Other tracks provide atmosphere to Filly Brown’s neighborhood or her hip-hop lifestyle.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and poignant movie. I recommend this to hip-hop music fans everywhere. I also recommend this to Latino viewers looking to see their experiences in film.

 

 

 

Written by Serena Zola

September 8, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Book Review: The House on Mango Street

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In the Latino section of Chicago lies the House on Mango Street.

In the house lives a young girl named Esperanza.

This is the story of her world.

One of the most powerful things about the House on Mango Street is the storytelling. Instead of chapters, the story is told in a series of vignettes. Think of a vignette as a verbal snapshot of a specific moment in time. With rich sensory detail and the narration of Esperanza, it is like a story and poem rolled into one.

Another notable thing about this book is its universal themes of identity and empowerment. Even though the characters in the book are Latino, the feelings and experiences that they have can resonate with anyone. In fact, the rawness and honesty in this book is similar to another well-known coming-of-age novel: The Outsiders.

While this novel does have its strengths, it also has a weakness. Besides Esperanza, there are many other characters featured. Since you only see things through Esperanza’s eyes, it can be confusing to take in her and everyone else she sees all at once. Despite this, The House on Mango Street is still a fantastic read.

Written by Serena Zola

February 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

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