Sundance Review: The Carter
When going into a documentary about Lil’ Wayne, one of America’s most popular rappers today, it wasn’t at all surprising to see that most of the people at the premiere, even though it was at Sundance, were mostly in the age range of about 15-25. And it was probably a good thing too, because if you’re not a fan of rap or hip-hop, and you’re not really sure who Lil’ Wayne is, then this movie is definitely not for you. If you don’t like Lil’ Wayne then this movie certainly won’t change your mind. In fact, it will probably only make you hate him more. But if you do like him, then this is definitely a movie worth seeing.
The film basically follows the life of Wayne for several months, capturing concert footage, interviews, recordings, and everything in between. And the everything in between usually includes smoking large quantities of pot and constantly drinking cough syrup mixed with A&W. While I certainly enjoyed the footage of watching him spit, the concerts, and all the good music that goes along with it, it was hard for me to really care about Wayne. Not that this was the fault of the filmmakers, but rather Wayne himself constantly says and does things that are incredibly arrogant, self-centered, and niave. From blaming George Bush for Hurricane Katrina (he suggests that it should be called Hurricane George), to sporting his ridiculous amounts of diamond studded bling, to saying that he doesn’t care at all what anyone thinks, to wearing his robe which says “The Greatest Rapper,” it’s hard to care about someone who seems so wrapped up in himself.
But it’s hard to deny a lot of the creativity that has earned Wayne his fame. Last year, he recorded over 250 songs. For Wayne, it’s a necessity to take his mic with him everywhere, just in case he gets an idea or needs to let a song flow out. He always has it with him, because he never writes down his lyrics. He just turns the mic on and starts rapping. The footage of this is great, and the director managed to get a lot of personal insight into Wayne’s life. Wayne’s daughter also made several appearances in the film, and she was very cute, but it felt like the director was trying to inspire sympathy by adding her in. And none of the footage even showed the two of them together, so we never really get to see if he’s actually a good father or not. Wayne is also very contradictory at times, saying that alcohol is bad for you and that he never drinks it, but then openly supports cocaine and ecstasy. The film also tended to get a bit repetitive, but for the most part it was fun to watch. So overall, if you enjoy Lil’ Waynes music, then i would reccommend seeing this to get some insight into his life, but otherwise the movie might seem like a more in-depth version MTV Cribs, in which you can either envy or be disgusted by the excesses of Lil’ Wayne.