Newest Reviews
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
War of the Wizards
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Newest Articles
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
  Angelfish Romeo And Juliet Without The Violence
Year: 2019
Director: Peter Andrew Lee
Stars: Jimi Stanton, Princess Nokia, Stanley Simmons, Erin Davie, Rosie Barrido, Sebastian Chacon, Sandy Tejada, Claire McClanahan, Alejandra Ramos Riera, Kaelyn Ambert-Gonzalez, Kyle Glenn, Ivan Mendez, Bobby Plascencia, Adam Feingold, Sean Rogers
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Brendan (Jimi Stanton) lives in New York City's Bronx, with his single mother (Erin Davie) and brother Conor (Stanley Simmons), both of whom are sharing their issues with him in ways he would rather be free of. As it is, he has a job at a deli counter to bring in some income, not his preferred choice of occupation but it could be worse, and one day he is at work when he notices a pretty Latina girl come in. She is Eva (Princess Nokia) and is being hassled by some guy who is overeager, to say the least, so Brendan has a word with him and tells him to back off, for which she is grateful, but maybe doesn't think about the encounter as much as he does. He sees her again, and has to ask...

Angelfish was an unassuming little indie romance that indirectly posited the idea that relationships were less complicated when there was less technology around to mess them up. It was perhaps a misty-eyed version of the past, but by setting it precisely at the time when mobile phones and social media were not on the scene just yet - but were assuredly on their way - director Peter Andrew Lee (here making his feature debut) crafted what was at once a fairy tale of how we used to live, yet at the same time a hard-edged concept of the things that have not changed. Those prejudices, those responsibilities, the potential for making poor choices, some things definitely stayed the same.

Also making her feature debut was rapper Princess Nokia, at the time a performer whose career was beginning to flourish thanks to her smart rhymes and offbeat sense of humour that were winning her a following; maybe it was ironic that the only phone characters here used were home landlines and payphones. Stanton had more experience as an actor here, and did very well in his role, but maybe more impressive was that Nokia matched him despite her relative inexperience, and had you believing this was a love story that happened organically, and more importantly was worth persevering with even as the couple were suffering from doubts that could easily sabotage their happiness.

As far as the basic message went, it was that old follow your dreams, you can be who you want to be business that was the theme of a million kids' entertainments, indicating Lee was pitching this, if not at children, then at least at teenagers, but he tapped into a universality about relationships that could appeal to any age. Questions of whether your family or friends will embarrass you or worse in front of the object of your affection are ones which crop up in anyone's lives, and Brendan and Eva go through that in a more extreme way than many, though not so much that it becomes farfetched, nobody ends up murdered as if this was West Side Story without the singing and dancing (though the leading lady could have conjured up a few beats and lyrics for that idea, you imagine, had she been required).

Princess Nokia here went by her real name of Destiny Frasqueri, suggesting she wanted to keep her acting and her music separate, and there was nothing by her on composer Tom Bromley's soundtrack. If they did want to evoke the nineteen-nineties - this was set in 1993 - then casting a rapper in their movie was as authentic as it got, but she offered a reading of more than a generic romantic partner, as Eva has to negotiate her family's expectations, including looking after a disabled brother as well as having a boyfriend who wasn't Irish American, just as Brendan has a mother who is a bit of a nightmare. She is labouring under an aggressive persecution complex that sees her lashing out at the Puerto Ricans in the community, blaming her absent partner (who left years ago) and ignoring what she can be doing to help troubled Conor over her own self-centred interests. Can our two protagonists survive this and see their love blossom? In the end, it was quite sweet, nothing earth-shattering but you would appreciate it if you liked urban romance.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 256 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser


Last Updated: