LAST WARNING: SERIOUSLY! Read only after watching the movie for yourself…then come back here and fight me.
Okay. Here we go.
My impression of Bazodee wasn’t as damning as this Variety review. In fact, I found it rather charming; good for what it was – a silly, improbable, festive romp that resolved its dramas, such as they were, and entertained its audience before restlessness set in.
The silliness was there in the tone and set-ups. E.g. Girl goes to the airport to pick up her fiancée and his family and promptly gets turned around by a guy and his ukelele, and that bit of infatuation at first sight changes both their lives – makes him rediscover his love for music and positions him for a meteoric comeback; makes her forget her betrothed. E.g. Girl and guy plot a hook up between her cousin and one of her in-laws-to-be that involves a paddle boat and a stranded island, a coconut, and song. It is there in the comedic lines and light delivery (shout out to Soul Boy for one of the best and driest deliveries of one of these laugh lines) even when the stakes are high – when the grandmother of the character played by soca star Machel Montano takes a long walk across the construction site where he’s landed after giving up on music (and love), thrusts his guitar at him, and gives him the look, that was comedy gold, and not a word was spoken.
All the silliness described above also falls in line with the improbable but perhaps the biggest one is the suspension of disbelief required to make me believe that a businessman who had the savvy to set up a project as ambitious as the one he set up, also had the naiveté to sign it away just so. Don’t buy it. That the jealous son tunnel-visioned on maliciousness and winning would, after a little hard talk and bacchanal, change his whole ethos to the point of giving back the thing he took. Just so. Don’t buy that either. That the two families would nice-back easy-easy so…and what about the hurt feelings of the jilted fiancé? In fact, where was the jilted fiancé while everybody dancing and getting down happy happy in the end? Don’t buy it. But it made for a nice, pat resolution which the tone of the film promised from the beginning.
You remember those old Hollywood technicolor films where people would just burst in to song like it normal normal? Well, this have plenty of that, and in that regard, it has the soul of an old Hollywood musical where everything can be fixed with a bit of song
and a lot of Carnival.
The main drama is the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet business between the main characters – he’s an entertainer, she’s her dad’s business muse; he’s impetuous, she’s sensible except when she’s impetuous like when she sneaks off to be with him and kisses him in full view of any and any cell phone; he’s black, she’s Indian – as she reminds him when she wants to shoo him from pestering her so she can go back to being a sensible girl. The secondary drama is the business deal she and her dad are trying to seal up with her fiancé’s family – some class, big island (England) small island (Trinidad), and possibly some intra-ethnic prejudices come in to play. The tertiary drama is his quest to find his passion for music again. The tension in drama is heightened by the stakes and here the stakes never feel particularly high. Even when she and her dad fall from their high perch for instance, where they land seems relatively comfortable. The most high tension moment might’ve been when she was out with her friend-staffer (and there is some class-privilege issues that could be addressed there but I won’t bother get in to that) and the fiancé and his brother go looking for them in the midst of the J’ouvert where she was hooked up with the singer…except in a classic rom-com bait and switch by the time the door swing open on the hooked up lovers, the friend-staffer is the one in the singer’s lap. Because that happens.
So, since I brought the Bard and his famed lovers in to this, if you think of Bazodee (the state of forgetting onesself) as one of Shakespeare’s sillier comedies (obviously not Romeo and Juliet which was neither a comedy nor a romance) and take it for what it’s worth, you’ll leave the theatre in light spirits. And, considering all of the silly American and British romantic comedies whose improbabilities and low stakes dramas we’ve enjoyed (hey remember that time Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan met for the first time and fell promptly in love atop the Empire State Building? How about the time Bridget Jones didn’t get frostbite? ), I don’t think the particular Trinidad-ness of this story need be a negative. Enjoy it for what it is: a silly, festive romp with quickly resolved dramas and nice music.
Article by Joanne C. Hillhouse, who has nothing against rom-coms or silliness. Feel free to reblog with link and fresh press (please do) but Do not re-publish without permission and credit. Click the links for my books and/or my services.