October 9 brings with it the global release of Radha Blank‘s ‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ on Netflix.
A contemporary coming of age story, the film follows New York based playwright Radha.
With her 40th birthday around the corner, societal pressures, benchmarks, and success markers weigh on her spirit and light a match within to reinvent.
In pursuit of her “last big shot,” Radha glides between the worlds of theater and Hip-Hop in hopes of volumizing her truest voice.
The film earned Blank theU.S. Dramatic Competition Directing Award at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – and deservingly so.
That Grape Juice was privy to an early viewing. Join us below as we unpack why ‘The Forty Year-Old’ is a must-see.
It’s Rooted In The Real, The Raw, & The Relatable
For as titilating as traditional cinema can be (with all its formula and sheen), this excels for deliberately driving in a different direction.
Even with its comedic rooting, ‘The Forty-Year-Old Version’ almost watches like a fly-on-the-wall docu-series and is all the more magnetic, human, and moving because of it.
Laughter is a constant across each chapter of the film. Whether it’s the rambunctious class-room scenes, botched performances, spars with bestie-agent Archie, or the choking fraternizations with execs, there are so many laugh-out-loud moments. All of which resonate the more because the execution is so subtle and oft so sudden.
The film undoubtedly projects elements of light (from hope to humor), but it doesn’t avoid the dark.
Death and doubt are constant themes that run concurrently alongside the less weightier aspects of the narrative.
In some regards, the monochrome cinematography is emblematic of this.
It Has A Charming Core
‘The 40-Year-Old Version’ excels in its dual exploration of reaching for one’s dreams and navigating the man-made ceilings society imposes on folk of a certain age, race, and social status.
Radha’s truest triumph comes in finding her voice and the charming journey to that destination.
‘The 40-Year-Old Version’
Arrives On Netflix Worldwide October 9 2020