ByMark Dobos, writer at
Freelance journalist, eccentric writer with self destructive tendencies... Check out my photography blog over at: https://stillshootingfilm.
Mark Dobos

DOPE a.k.a. How to make a good cliché movie, is an old story in a new outfit, that manages to feel fresh and original with it's unique style and comedic approach to a theme that was used countless times before.

Using the story arc of the poor kid who lives in a bad neighbourhood and wants to break out in the hope of a better future, DOPE puts a twist onto Boyz n the Hood and mesmerises the audience. The moment the film faded in with a dictionary excerpt of the word 'Dope', I knew that I was going to be amused.

The acting was outstanding considering that no superstars were featured in the film, (except for Forest Whitaker who gets 2 minutes of screen time) they could really bring life into the many interesting characters featured in the movies universe. Even the slight autism of the protagonist played out really well, although I'm not entirely sure that it was intentional or just the symptoms of stage fright in an amateur actor. The monologue of the narrator was good but there was a feeling in the air that it constantly wanted to say something great and memorable but each time fell short.

Regarding the cinematography and directing it must be noted that they payed a whole lot of attention to the colours and the locations in every scene. The end result being a very vivid and pleasurable visual experience.

Awreeoh the fictional band from the movie
Awreeoh the fictional band from the movie

The film also features a soundtrack that is worth a separate listening as it is just as great in itself as it is in the movie. Even the songs that were only produced for the movie are so good that I'm wishing they were a real band!

All in all, a great flick! Definitely deserves a watch if you haven't seen it before, and maybe it is even suitable for watching multiple times. It is one of those films that you can come back to over and over through the years and still enjoy it just as much as you did the first time you saw it.

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