Directed by Singleton, “Poetic Justice” is about a woman named Justice who lost her boyfriend some time ago. It is not until she meets a mailman that she rediscovers love once more.
With the recent passing of Singleton, I feel like I should take the chance to look at one of his more remembered movies in his filmography. While I don’t particularly find it good and I don’t think it is bad either. It falls somewhere in the middle.
The performances in the movie were pretty good. Janet Jackson and 2Pac had the best scenes whenever they were together. Their relationship and how it progressed, was cliche. Albeit predictable, but it was done well and it came off as sweet-like. One didn’t want to see these two to break it off and once it came to the end, it was nice to see them come to terms with each other.
I liked how there was a nice parallel between those two and their friends (Regina King and Joe Torry). One relationship goes south, while the other goes north.
The film did dive into the idea of what is true love. There was a scene involving Maya Angelou. This was when she was critiquing King’s relationship while praising Janet’s. Again, this was a fine parallel between the two pairs.
The movie does a fine job of establishing the troubles the two main leads have in their personal lives toward the beginning. Both of them were affected by the terrors of street-life of the early 90s. Both have trouble with their love life and want to find it.
The cinematography was good. Especially during the road-trip segments where the movie showcased pretty shots of the beach and the scenic California open road.
Music was pretty good. Delivering with a nicely done piano theme in the opening credits. As well as that old-school hip-hop and R/B sounds from musicians including TLC, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac (of course), etc.
Now even though the relationship was played off well. As I said, that and the rest of the movie was pretty predictable and cliche. One can tell beat for beat where it was going to go from beginning to end. The two were going to start off hating each other and slowly but surely, the two will resolve their issues. The same goes for King and Torry’s but in reverse.
Jackson and 2Pac were the only interesting characters. While the others aren’t bad, they’re not given enough background or screentime to really connect with them. The film spent a good time within the barbershop, showcasing many different and diverse people. But there wasn’t enough time to latch onto them.
One plotline that should have been developed more or removed entirely, was 2Pac getting his musical career going with his cousin. I completely have forgotten about that until it was brought up toward the end. I feel like maybe they should have connected Janet writing her poems with 2Pac starting his music. That was a missed opportunity that the film could have utilized effectively.
Even with the uneven structure and pacing of the film, it was a sweet and nice film that one should see. The film had good performances, nice music, and even though it was played cliche-like, it was done well enough. Where one can feel for what was going on and they didn’t want the worst to come forward.
RIP John Singleton
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