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Teenage

Nothing will prepare you for how wonderful it is to see Sprinter - the film

TREVANN HAMILTON and CHARLENE BUCHANAN

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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About a week ago Char stumbled across a tweet or two praising the film, Sprinter. On a whim she hit up her group chat and organised a watch party for the weekend: Trev, Char and another gal pal decided they were going to the theatre to watch Sprinter. Between the two (Trevann and Charlene), the following represent their thoughts on the (A-18) Storm Saulter film:
From start to finish, the movie was visually stunning and impactful. Nothing will prepare you for how wonderful it is to see, hear and experience the familiar - Kingston city lights, patties at lunchtime, the hustle and bustle of Half-Way-Tree, Waterfront, coconut groves - on the big screen.


Where the movie underwhelmed in soul-stirring or heartening qualities, it was blessedly heavy-handed on the humor. We both appreciate, nevertheless, that the directors and writers were ambitious in attempting to pack both those things into 114 minutes....especially 114 minutes lead by acting newcomer Dale Elliot (known more for comedy and brashness than anything else). Still, newcomer or not, you can't help but cheer for the plucky, braggadocious Akeem (Dale Elliot). Expect to be engaged from the opening frame: from fretting over Akeem's next move, quietly hoping his family life improves, to bouncing your leg and crossing your fingers that the cheeky TEENS don't get caught by their parents or other authority figures. You'll find yourself, as we did, laughing out loud at character antics and anticipating Kerry's (Shantol Jackson's) clapbacks, setdowns and dry humour.

Admittedly, in rare moments, the dialogue seemed stilted and a little unnatural, but we surmise that that may have been the case as a result of a compromise between making the language used recognisable to both local audiences very familiar with Patois, and international audiences that may not be nearly as familiar with Patois. Nevertheless, there was a certain authenticity to the film that only Jamaicans speaking Patois and doing as Jamaicans tend to do, could have provided. Coupled with the amazing soundtrack and interesting pop-up appearances the movie was great, and we certainly recommend that you and all your friends go watch Sprinter. It's fun, it's inspirational, it's funny and if Jamaicans don't put their dollars where there mouths are, when can we expect to see anything like Sprinter again?

Jamaican film is definitely headed in the right direction. Big up the cast, crew, director and everyone involved (special big ups to our fave girl on screen, Shantol Jackson)! We can't wait to see what you all do next. (PS: Storm, feel free to make the running time a bit longer next time. We'll stay and it'll be worth it to see the characters we've fallen in love with have all their plot-lines addressed.)

--Trevann Hamilton and Charlene Buchanan

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