Idlewild DVD [Universal]Idlewild is a musical set in the prohibition era written and directed by Bryan Barber and staring André Benjamin and Antwan A Patton a.k.a. André 3000 and Big Boi of the band OutKast.

Percival (Benjamin) and Rooster (Patton) are childhood friends, although they both have totally different upbringings their friendship remains just as strong in adult life. Percival is a mortician by day, helping out in his fathers business and a piano player at the club called the Church by night where Rooster sings.

Idlewild - Paula PattonThey become embroiled in murder and deception when Trumpy played by Terrance Howard decides to take over the reigns from local gangster Spats (Ving Rhames). Rooster takes up the reigns at the Church while Percival becomes involved with Angel Davenport played by Paula Patton as she tries to succeed as a singer in the rough club. 

The OutKast boys have of course provided the music for the film and not surprisingly, there is a heavy emphasis on the tunes even though they sometimes seem unnecessary to the plot. The music itself is often a strange hip-hop and jazz hybrid that works but isn’t in keeping with the era of the movie.

There are some great dance sequences which combined with a clever use of slow motion camera shots are inventive and add to the spice of the film.

Idlewild - OutkastThere are, though, a few bizarre sequences – what is it with Percival and clocks, also the car chase scene actually becomes comic rather than tense. There are also lot of stereotypical characters but as the film doesn’t take itself too seriously so it’s all forgivable. I did find though that the ending seemed rather at odds with the main body of the film and it doesn’t quite gel, which is a shame.

Overall it’s a fun romp though, with some clever shots and good comedy as well as a few twists and turns and it makes for good fun unchallenging viewing. 


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