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Dope (2015)

“So, why do I want to attend Harvard? If I was white, would you even have to ask me that question?” said protagonist Malcolm.

Sundance Film Festival’s “Dope” (2015) It isn’t your quintessential coming-of-age film. With its original wit and comedic high-school heist tale, “Dope” becomes an instant indie classic.

Rotten Tomatoes rate “Dope” fresh with an 88%. Released on Netflix in February, Writer and Director, Rick Famuyiwa takes you into the exuberant world of protagonist Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a self-proclaimed hip-hop geek who aspires to go from the streets of Inglewood, Calif. to the halls of the a prestigious Ivy League.

Black, with a passion for 90s hip-hop and neon clothing, Malcolm, along with his ‘geek’ friends, Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) find escapism with their own culture, making them a target for bullies who want a pair of vintage Nikes.

The trio refuses to let the rampant Inglewood define them, where even riding a bike through a particular neighborhood during the day is dangerous. The group instead focuses on school, their hip-hop/punk band, ‘Awreeoh’ and love for 90s fashion despite all the backlash.

Malcolm is an exceedingly talented and well-educated student who dreams of his grand escape: a full-fledged scholarship to Harvard.

Malcolm and his geeky crew find themselves in an unforeseen predicament after he befriends drug dealer and gang member Dom (A$AP Rocky). When Dom invites the trio to a club, an intense gang scuffle breaks out. The inevitable reality of Inglewood ultimately reaches them when Malcolm has no choice but to become involved with some dope.

Malcolm is forced to affiliate with the type of environment he tried to steer clear from. He and his friends end up navigating an entirely different course that defines the outcome of his life and future. The characters encompassed in “Dope” are infectious to watch with their one-of-a-kind personalities. Being clever and unsuspicious, the geek trio finds a way to handle their situation.

“Dope” is a memorable adventure and satirical depiction of drug gangs and the real environment of a hood community. This film takes a shot at racial discrimination in its own way, not being the average story of a teenage boy. “Dope” is a wild indie film where unpredictability works in its favor. See the trailer for “Dope” here.

 

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