Nia Hampton | Monday July 10th 2017
I watched the Tupac movie so that you don’t have to. I know it came out last month. I know the reviews already ripped it to shreds, BUT I’M STILL MAD. I’m not even the biggest Tupac fan. Honestly, I’m more a fan of the music that Biggie made. I loved Tupac as an actor however. I honestly think that was his true calling. His role as “Bishop” should have gotten him an Oscar, but his celebrity persona as the perpetual “bad boy” probably got him blackballed by the Academy. And just because the institutions couldn’t recognize his gifts didn’t mean he didn’t possess any. Tupac was an icon and hero to millions. His biopic film should have reflected that, but it didn’t. Instead it reflected all the things Tupac stood against.
Early on in the production, filmmaker John Singleton dropped out. And stated that the producers weren’t respectful of Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur. The lack of connection between people who actually knew Tupac and the producers is apparent throughout the film. The story is weak and the wigs are awful. So, who is responsible? According to Wikipedia there are a few culprits. The same men who brought us classics like “Juwanna Man” and “Ace Ventura” produced the biopic on Tupac Shakur. It’s no wonder then, that the intricate nuances of the environment that made Tupac were completely ignored. Afeni Shakur played by the usually brilliant Danai Gurira came across as melodramatic. In fact, the whole film felt like a Lifetime produced farce. Tupac was a “walking contradiction” as the Hill Harper journalist character said, as if we couldn’t see that ourselves. Playing on the 2 faced Gemini stereotype, Tupac was a puppy one minute and a monster the next. And I get the intent, but there are so many more ways to convey duality in a character. Plot wise the story is rushed. Tupac was a complex and complicated person who lead a large life. Why not focus on one aspect of his life like his childhood or the week leading up to his death? Why try and squeeze everything in all at once? Why wasn’t his biopic a Netflix series? It’s insulting really. Demetrius Shipp Jr. looks just like him, but he didn’t have the fire. I blame the poor script and direction. It’s actually insulting to the legacy of Pac, the political and pervasive leader that he was. This film seemed to have been made out of greed and confusion. We have to stop letting them tell the story of our great leaders. The culture suffers from it. Prince’s biopic has to be better.
Graphic By Sophia Gach-Rasool