IDLEWILD: DRAWN OUT MUSIC VIDEO
Idlewild is the collaboration between the members of the musical group Outkast. These members are Andre Benjamin (AKA Andre 3000) and Antwan A. Patton (AKA Big Boi). They are musically talented. But this talent doesn’t translate to a good movie. The plot is clichéd and predictable. The acting is over the top at best. Cartoonish describes some of the visuals. One bright spot would be the musical numbers but that doesn’t justify the existence of the film.
Percival (Andre Benjamin) and Rooster (Antwan A. Patton) are best friends that grew up together in Idlewild, Georgia. Percival is an introverted mortician during the day, piano play at Rooster’s club Church at night. Rooster is the manager and star performer of Church. It is during the Prohibition. Rooster’s uncle Spat (Ving Rhames) and the owner of Church are killed one night by Trumpy (Terrence Howard), Spat’s muscle. Trumpy assumes Spat’s position as the provider of alcohol to Church and let’s Rooster know that he has inherited Church’s debt and that he is now going to pay a premium for the alcohol provided. At the same time, Angel (Paula Patton) shows up as the club’s new songstress. She is hiding a secret. Percival and she fall in love. Rooster gets in trouble with Trumpy and involves Percival.
The story is filled with numerous predictable moments. What you think will happen does. Performances at Church are fun, happening, and are the highlights. Its two main stars have chemistry onscreen. Not a surprise for fans of their music. But the other characters are stereotypical. These include femme fatale, silent but psychotic bad guy, and lug head muscle man. The overacting doesn’t help. The costumes are stylish. The use of colors makes scenes pop. The cuckoo clocks in Percival’s bedroom are ingenious. But then there is the flask that Rooster carries that talks to him. The silliness is distracting.
It is no surprise that the musical performances are fun and energetic. If the same focus would have been done on the storyline, it would have made for a fun and energetic movie as opposed to a few scenes. This would have brought another musical to Hollywood that would follow in line with recent hits such as Chicago and Moulin Rouge. Bryan Barber wrote and directed Idlewild. This is his directorial debut and he tries to put his stamp on the movie industry. He doesn’t achieve it with this over hyped music video. Five minutes (a la Michael Jackson’s Thriller) would have sufficed.