Movie Review: Spike Lee Aims To Tackle More Then Gang Violence In The Movie Chi-Raq [Editorial]
“No Peace No Pussy,” if you don’t stop the violence then there will be no more sex), is one of the many quotable lines from Spike Lee’s newest movie Chi-Raq. The movie which serves as a funny, angry, and raunchy twenty first century spin on the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata,” attempts to tackle a number of topics within a two hour time span. From classism, unemployment, gentrification, and gun control to education, the prison system, gang violence and Black lives matter. With a fully star studded cast, one can be a bit skeptical when deciding if one should even take the time to check the movie out. I mean usually when a person decides to over a pack a movie with a super famous cast you tend to think the director is trying to overshadow how not amazing the movie really is. However it kind of feels like Spike Lee did it in hopes of attracting people to come see the movie so he could draw awareness to everything that’s happening in both Chicago and the black community.
Spike makes a point to revisit his School Dayz massage of “WAKE UP” throughout the film, ending the movie with not only a powerful monologue by Nick Cannon but also with a big “wake up” flashing across the screen. Although certain moments feel forced and can leave you bewildered; the overall movie does its best to give outsiders a look into what’s happening in a city like Chi-Raq. The image of Jennifer Hudson’s character Irene trying desperately to clean the blood of her slain 11-year-old daughter off the streets; or the life insurance agent telling Angela Basset character, Miss Helen, to take a life insurance policy out on her nephew because “young black males are more likely to die at a young age,” will break your heart and leave you in rage.
Even though some Chicagoans like Chance The Rapper and King Louie are not really fans of the movie; it really is well done and put together. The movie is far from realistic (in certain aspects) and a bit over dramatically but visually and emotionally it’s there. Overall I would have to say if you’re on the fence about the movie go check it out. Wasn’t too crazy about the score but the movie was actually good.