Out of nowhere this simplistic although familiar tale of young forbidden love arrives out of nowhere, i can’t help think that Angelfish, may be underseen upon first release with word of mouth and reputation eventually soaring it into popularity.
Not officially a take on, Romeo & Juliet, as this tale moved into deeper emotions i saw plenty of reminders to the Bard classic.
Rapper and talented singer making her feature film debut, Princess Nokia, is wonderful as Eva, a loving daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants torn between responsibilities within family and creative dreams of her own.
She meets Brendan (Jimi Stanton) out of the blue in the delicatessen on a shift where he stands up to a bully in store harassing Eva. She’s appreciative then exchanging glances they don’t catch up again until he bumps into her at a local cinema.
Cliches don’t matter so much when a talented young cast naturally flow.
From different classes and races, these two probably shouldn’t be together, so when they do genuinely fall in love, it is the older generation around them that disrupt proceedings. Eva has traditions to cope with and obligations, Jimi deals with his brother and a wayward single mother, nothing is simple, except their beating hearts for each other.
The chemistry between these two pops, working within every scene.
Locations around side streets of Brooklyn and The Bronx add to authenticity of their unusual circumstances and traits.
Low key, low budget, take the time for Angelfish, the directorial debut of Peter Lee, will win you over.
★★★★ | Shane A.Bassett
Drama, Romance | USA, 2019 | Dir.Peter Andrew Lee |Princess Nokia, Jimi Stanton, Erin Davie, Sandy Tejada