Sundance Film Review: Pariah

January 22, 2011 : 5:25 am | by David Font

I think I’ve found a new and inviting way to enjoy films tonight. For starters I went and saw my first film ever at Sundance tonight and on one hand it didn’t feel any different from other films I’ve seen. I’ve definitely seen movies before where I’ve had to stand in long ass lines; but on the other hand this was the first film I’ve seen in a long time where I’ve known next to nothing about it. Pariah is about a girl named Alike. She has grown up her entire life in the inner projects of Brooklyn and she’s had to deal with a life altering decision: Whether or not to be herself for the sake of her own happiness.

Alike is a lesbian girl struggling to find acceptance in the eyes of her parents and peers, as well as catharsis between the two. Her best friend Laura is also a lesbian trying to help Alike pop her cherry. While the subject matter seems like we’ve seen and heard it before (we have), Pariah is a beautiful and powerful film about finding your own way through life, even when acceptance is already far behind you. What I liked most about this film were the cinematography and the acting. Every shot in this film was done very well; I loved how every scene was imbued with this vibrancy of colors and just the way the actors really inhabited their characters. My favorite characters in the film beside the protagonist were her two parents. I can’t really explain why, but just that they felt real, not scripted. The same can be said for all the characters in the film, they all felt very real. Pariah is a well done film by everyone involved. I hope to see more films by this director and cast in the future.

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