Starring: Machel Montano (Trinidad), Natalie Perera (UK)
Director: Todd Kessler (US)
Producer & Screenwriter: Claire Ince (Barbados)
IN ONE SENTENCE, BAZODEE IS…
A very entertaining film to inspire other Caribbean filmmakers to showcase their countries and its talent.
Watch the trailer:
I first saw the trailer for Bazodee on my Facebook feed a few months ago, and my reaction was, “Hmmm this could be good.” I was excited, like everyone to see Trinidad on screen.
Living in England, I’ve grown fatigued by turning on the television, opening up the newspaper and going to the movies, never really seeing anything that represented me or my culture (shit, anybody’s culture), despite the great mix of people living there.
So when an Auntie (who’d already seen it) invited me along while I was in Barbados, I was only too happy to go. Other people had seen it and enjoyed it, and the theatre was pretty packed. I guess everyone wanted a change of scenery.
The trailers that preceded the film didn’t make sense to me. There were about five of them, all fantasy/children’s films and what did I tell ya – not a single person of colour or non-American/British culture appeared. I even asked my Auntie if we were in the right screening.
I was relieved when the opening credits, a beautiful look at busy Trinidad life and leisure appeared, backdropped by a fantastic Indian/Soca fusion song. I could go on that the production was pretty good and there were some fantastic scenes showing Carnival, Tobago, and other unique elements of Trinidad, but let’s get down to brass tacks.
The basic plot: a woman is about to marry into a wealthy family, in order to protect her own, but falls for a musician. That all unfolds pretty quickly, but this is what I (and I reckon the audience) was really into:
- The music – There were some great Machel hits that had us dancing in our seats and some new music that’s still stuck in my head. I think we would’ve still been happy if the film was all one music video.
- The chemistry – Machel was effectively playing an aspiring version of himself (yeah, we’re cool with that) and despite how quickly he and Anita (Natalie Perera) ‘fell in love’, we were totally feeling it and rooting for them. All in all, the acting was solid and felt authentic.
- The humour – Who doesn’t love when comedy is close to home? Won’t spoil any jokes for you but they had us laughing and clapping, and it was all the better because it sounded like ‘something our friends would say’.
Special shout out to the design team: the graphics and set pieces were beautiful Caribbean colours, and I wanted to step out in everything Anita was wearing.
It wasn’t perfect but it was progress and honestly, I was feelin’ real nice when we chipped out of the cinema. Go see it and come with more Caribbean films nuh!