Rob Reviews "Dayveon"
Amman Abbasi has been labeled as one of the new directors to watch, and his feature debut was recently shown as part of the 11th Dallas International Film Festival. “Dayveon” is the story of a young man (Devin Blackmon in his first acting project ever) growing up in Arkansas. Still dealing with the death of his brother, he is simply trying to survive by dealing with the things a thirteen year-old deals with while almost trying to follow in his brother’s footsteps by joining a gang. He is also a charge to his older sister and her boyfriend, who wants to help mentor him much to Dayveon’s chagrin.
When people have asked me to talk about this film, the only way that I can describe it is as an artsier version of “Moonlight” without its subtext. This is not one of those films that can be watched as background noise; it is a film that demands you pay attention to it. At seventy-five minutes, it is not much of a time investment but it will make an emotional investment. Blackmon carries this film with great emotion and gravity, and finding out that he is continuing to pursue acting should be met with great anticipation. The rest of the cast here has great chemistry with both him and each other, and what I dig about this cast is how they treat their roles (with the help of Abbasi, who also co-wrote the script and did the score) with anything but stereotype. There are certain aspects of life for these characters that has to lie within certain rails, but there are also struggles within some of the characters that are told well while not taking away from its main character’s storyline.
I cannot say that “Dayveon” knocked me out, but I was also surprised that my opinion tends to differ from some other people that I have spoken with that have seen this film. It packs a great emotional punch and while it may not be totally palatable by a mass audience, it is definitely worth checking out.