This week on Bluray, DVD and Digital from writer/director Stella Meghie and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is a story of love, life and the decisions we make in between THE PHOTOGRAPH.
Michael Block (Lakeith Stanfield) is a young writer from New Orleans who meets the elder Isaac (Rob Morgan) to talk to him about life after Hurricane Katrina. Telling Michael about his life, Isaac has a picture of a woman named Christina (Chante Adams) and it piques his interest and he feels as if he must know more about her.
Working with Michael is Andy (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) who manages learn that Christina has passed but leaves behind daughter Mae (Issa Rae). What they discover is that Christina and Isaac were once very much in love much to the dismay of her mother. As their relationship became more complicated, Christina chose to go to New York in order to follow a career as a photographer and Isaac is distraught.
After several months, Christina calls her mother to share the good news about a job and learns the sad truth. Returning home, she meets Isaac at the funeral learning even more devastating news. Not staying any longer, Christina goes home and does not return to New Orleans until many years later.
Seeing Isaac only brings up memories of the heart and Christina wants to be well-away from it. In the present, Michael and Mae are working on their relationship, but she is having a difficult time trying to understand why everything must be so complicated.
The answers may be in understanding her mother and the ability to forgive and let go so that love wins out.
Rae as Mae is the young woman struggling with her own history with Christina. As it becomes clearer through the story that Mom has issues that go back to her own mother, it is when we learn that history can emotionally repeat itself. Rae gives a strong performance filled with longing and insecurity yet a strength in understanding that love is worth every step she takes with Michael.
Stanfield as Michael is caught up in the past, the present and the strong feelings he starts to have for Mae. All while trying to capture the story that Isaac is sharing with him. When things become complicated with Mae, Michael must make the decision whether to stay or go far away and forget.
Adams as Christina was a woman ahead of her time. She wanted love to be sure, but she also wanted to be her own woman but having something all her own. Going away to find it, she believed in love but clearly forgot to let Isaac in on her beliefs. Morgan as Isaac wanted everything for Christina but had to deal with is own securities about providing a life for her. That is where life clashed between the two of them – both knowing what they wanted and neither of them giving an inch to the other to have it.
Other cast include: Dakota Paradise as young Mae, Rylee King as Sandrina, Y’lan Noel as young Issac, Lil Rey Howery as Kyle, Phoenix Noelle as Sophia, Teyonah Parris as Asia, Marsha Blake as Violet, Maxwell Cooper as Peter and Courtney B. Vance as Louis Morton.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
Bonus Features of the Bluray and DVD include Shooting THE PHOTOGRAPH: An inside look at the making of THE PHOTOGRAPH featuring interviews with Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, director Stella Meghie and producer Will Packer, Culture in Film: Filmmakers and cast discuss the important of representation in the industry, the significance of being both in front of and behind the camera, and why this story matters, and The Film Through Photographs: Explore the use of photography throughout the film as the cast and filmmakers delve into how the photographs, and use of such, told stories beyond capability of word or action.
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THE PHOTOGRAPH is a charming story of two people who have their own feelings about life and love without realizing that the past can shape those feelings. Mae is the young woman trying to understand a mother who had her own secrets all while fighting off the idea of love. Michael put all his efforts into a career as a writer so love wasn’t something he was looking for either, yet – here they both are.
Cozy up and prepare for the story of parents, their children and love.
In the end – one photograph can bring a memory that lasts a lifetime!