Pics are made for social media, but photographs are made for movies. “The Photograph” stars Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield and follows the daughter of a famous photographer who falls in love with the journalist assigned to cover her late mother. I know you’ve heard of love at first sight. Well, this film offers a romantic view from above. However, if you look closely, pain and heartbreak are hidden in the details.
“The Photograph” is ambitious. It’s not only a story about two people falling in love but multiple stories concerning that emotion. Director Stella Meghie attempts to make two halves whole, connecting certain events for a climactic conclusion. The actors are solid. Rae and Stanfield have romantic chemistry that reminds you of a couple you may know, or your own memory of how you and your mate found each other. Nothing seems forced. It is the traditional courtship process for an updated era.
Co-stars Chante Adams and Y’Ian Noel have a storyline more complex but definitely more intriguing. Theirs is a love story at its best which honestly, should have been the main storyline. Lil Rel injects his natural comedic presence, adding light-hearted fun strategically placed throughout the movie. His comedy is just the right spice, never overbearing. Everyone gives stellar performances and keeps you entertained. The cinematography is its own love story.
Almost every scene is filled with ambiance and picturesque locations which almost serves as the ultimate wingman. You cannot get enough of the scenery. Add to that one dope soundtrack…maaaaaan listen!
My main problem with this movie is the storyline. “The Photograph” could have been, maybe should have been two movies. The obstacles Mae Morton (Rae) and Michael Block (Stanfield) face aren’t challenging enough. There isn’t much fighting to overcome them, but the one scenario that is meant to bring them together is extremely challenging, but it is that other couple’s story which isn’t supposed to be the main plot. It is so intense however that it takes over and completely overshadows Mae and Morton’s story.
Also, this movie feels longer than it should. “The Photograph” is 106 minutes, but the pacing moves incredibly slow to the point where you think it’s longer – much longer. The story needs to be told and love takes time, but the two storylines hamper it a bit. There are traces of “Love Jones” as well. That’s not a bad thing and it’s not a complete rip-off, just some subtle things here and there.
“The Photograph” isn’t the perfect love story, but it is a moment that celebrates black love, something you don’t see every day. Love is a process, and the telling of this love is a lengthy process. I’m co-signing it to the fullest because where it fumbles the ball in storytelling, the soundtrack, cinematography, and subplot pick it back up and scores.
Tag someone in this photograph; preferably someone you love or want to love. Don’t give up.
Watch The Trailer:
Did you check out The Photograph over the weekend?