Boys n the Hood (Film Review)
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Boys N the Hood
Sam Barnett and Ryan McDermott
“Boys N the Hood” was created in 1991 subsequently being nominated for two academy awards, (best original screen play and best director). It is the exploration of masculinity and personal identity at the watershed year of seventeen. Aptly acted by Cuba Gooding Jnr, Lawrence Fisborne and the notoriously controversial rapper Ice Cube, this movie pushed all the limits during the very racially sensitive period of the early 90’s. The movie features the lives of 3 African-American youths trapped in the depths of poverty and institutional Racism. Following the central characters from as far back as the Reagan years this movie vividly paints the plight of the African American which is still, (even after the inception of President Obama) being gradually overcome.
Apart from being an exceptional film “Boys n the Hood” contained a number of important lessons for boys slowly learning to be a man. The movie shows that along the way a number of forces affect the men they are to become and the choices they eventually make. Many credible people have argued these factors, such as not having a mother or being the victim of violence primarily contribute to the exorbitant rate of crime in South Central, LA. This was an astonishingly open discussion of the problems and institutional controls the police sanctioned during the period of the LA race riots. The result of this discussion probably calmed a number in the community down and definitely challenged popular stereotypes a huge step forward for African-Americans embracing the seemingly new political climate of the Clinton administration.
Apart from mending African American relations the film explored the mystifying age of seventeen, eighteen. For most, golden years with the promise of a whole cartful to come, however more than that it signaled the start of life. “Boys n the Hood” captured this perfectly by utilizing the exceedingly intelligent central charter “Trey Styles”, (played by Cuba Gooding Jnr). Trey’s journey to manhood starts with his excessively violent tendencies portrayed as a problem for a young trey when early on in the film he instigates an altercation with a young boy after he insults Africa. He is then forced to live with his father a watershed moment for young Trey who is immediately put to work at raking leaves. After working all night he is made to wash the bath tub and clean his room instilling a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility staying with Trey until he grows in to a young man, queue part two of the film.
The last part of the movie depicts Treys good looks and his expensive dress sense (purchased from seemingly legitimate ends) making him a prime attraction for many of the girls in the neighborhood. Treys account of his, “first time” to his father is awkward and blatantly fabricated a clever and amusing way of portraying sexual discovery and the paramount importance of the condom. Treys friend Doughboy, (played by Ice Cube) attracts a large amount of plot importance throughout the film a testament to Ice Cubes acting talent as much as it is to the importance of the character. Doughboy who grew up without a mother ends up selling Crack Cocaine, (the key revenue earner of the location). This afforded him a gold plated Cadillac, gold chains and seemingly expensive clothing. Combined with his slick talking personality this attracted a large number of women who he flagrantly mistreats and disrespects. This notably occurs during a neighborhood Barbeque referring to the women as Bi**hes resulting in a tongue lashing from his mother. The last character Ricky explores a very different set of avenues fastidiously practicing his football skills from the age of seven always keeping a ball with him. His build also attracts a copious amount of women. However with all Ricky’s spare time spent playing football he probably never studied offering up a legitimate reason for his lack of general knowledge highlighted by Trey’s father when Trey and Ricky visit Furious at his workplace. It is because of this recklessness and lack of common sense, (supposed to be instilled by a father figure) that he knocks his teenage girlfriend up. Rick’s story deserves a little more mention as it highlights the story of a young poor athlete with a world of potential killed before his prime. In other words out of the thousand odd gun deaths in poverty stricken LA at least one could have served a world changing function.
In concluding words the film was absolutely exceptional. It detailed and mapped the trials and tribulations of a young adult whilst effortlessly drawing your brain in to the plot. The acting was brilliant; the writing was also, of course the Director John Singleton who attracted a huge amount of attention from his Oscar nomination. Overall for anybody who has not seen the film you should rent it out right now because whatever you are doing can not compare to the quality of this film.