This is one man’s imagination at its momentous best
From every corner of the film’s production, the hours creator Geremy Jaspar has put into Patti Cake$ are staringly obvious. It’s the impeccable script, the naive debut direction and the passionate lyrics on every track written by Jaspar himself. He has created a real underdog story with a huge heart, and a fulfilling sense of entertainment. Whether it is considered an original piece does not matter because there are so many other things to love about Patti Cake$.
Patricia (Danielle MacDonald) is an aspiring rapper living with her Mum and her Nan. Mocked for her weight, Patricia is dismissed by all but a few when she tells of her dream of rapping in New York City. While visiting her Grandfather’s grave, she chances across an anarchist with a personal music studio hidden from society. Joined by her long time contributor Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and her Nan, they form the group PBNJ, attempting to finally get their name out into the music scene.
Jaspar has essentially created this film alone. Of course, there are other contributors to the production process, but by writing the script and the songs as well as directing, this is one man’s imagination at its momentous best.
The script is a brilliant mix of slang and feeling, and it manages to paint each character with their own tainted brush. The characterisation that comes from the script is powerful and realistic. This is helped by rhythmically catchy music and genius lyrics strewn across the whole film. Jaspar is only let down by his raw, naive directing and the cliched nature of the film’s more generic elements.
The lead performances from Danielle MacDonald and Siddharth Dhananjay bring their characters to motion, and their interactions with others outside their bubble is what really gets an audience to root for them. They are driven and engaging characters, with credit going to Jaspar as well as the young, inexperienced actors.
Patti Cake$ is a film of huge power and volume. With great music, great acting and a great script, Geremy Jaspar has created a debut picture to be eternally proud of.