Why I Love DOPE
Have you seen it yet? I loved it. Sitting in the movie theater with maybe only three other people scattered around, and of course Mark, I went through a stream of different emotions. We laughed and smiled until our cheeks hurt; I was impatient and scared when the tables turned and I thought the main character couldn't possibly recover from the craziness; I felt nostalgic listening to old school hip-hop from my childhood; and I felt like I was understood watching three teens, despite the odds, being who they are. I felt like I was in their clique struggling through the adventure, but still striving to be at the top, no matter how different that was to the people around them. And it wasn't that the people around them disliked them for being who they were, they were a little confused, yeah, but they really kind of admired the kids for being street/book smart geeks.
The wall of stereotypes were broken down so well, and with comedy! But apart from that, I cheered and congratulated the young-ins riding their bikes through the neighborhood, as I ate eating popcorn. I was like "Yeah, boy! Getit!" when the main character, Malcolm (Shameik Moore), sat awkwardly in the car next to the girl he admired, Nakia (Zoe Kravitz); the geek winning over the girl supposedly way above his league. Malcolm's friends were important too. They amplified each others uniqueness, they represented a youth that are just naturally different from what's expected. But they seemed mostly just side characters, which made me kind of sad. The only real back story we see of them is in the beginning for just a few moments, the rest of the time they simply tag along with Malcolm. Even when they feel like quitting, they just take a deep breath and trudge along. What's important is the generation and image they represent, though.
I love it because I relate to it. I wish I had this movie when I was in high school, playing drums after school everyday, wearing skateboard shoes, cutting my hair and bleaching it blonde– no other girls at my school were doing this at the time, except for maybe one or two, but they were white and I was mixed. For some reason that made it different? I guess like the kids in DOPE, I wasn't really just accepted either, except for a couple of homies that were like minded (and like-skinned).
If you haven't seen it yet, you should. It's a bundle of everything good (and kind of bad) into one, and it's refreshing from the rest of the movie world I've been witnessing lately. Plus, so many awesome creative minds helped make it: Pharrell Williams, Forest Whitaker, Rick Famuyima, etc... Take the flash to the past, embrace it!
(Photos: totally taken from rollingstone.com, latimes.com, and other Google sources)