If you have ever attended college, know how to spell “college,”
love music, or enjoy great cinema, you will find the movie Drumline
irresistible. Absent: the excessive profanity and the all-too-familiar
abrasive characters that regularly grace the screen. What we have
in Drumline is a colorful tale of triumph with mass appeal. Directed
by Charles Stone III (of “Whassup” Budweiser fame), Drumline is
a wonderfully crafted story that centers on fictional Atlanta A
& T University’s struggling marching band program headed by Dr.
Lee, played by the talented Orlando Jones.
In addition to Jones, the cast includes Leonard Roberts, Jason
Weaver, Zoe Saldana, J. Anthony Brown, Candace Carey, and Nick Cannon
in the lead role as Devon Miles, a cocky kid from New York City
who attends A & T on a drum scholarship. Devon, unfortunately, has
one big problem: he marches to the beat of his own drum. Without
revealing too much of the plot, Devon must come face-to-face with
his limitations, realize the value of discipline and learn to play
with his band mates, rather than against them.
Jam-packed with matters of honor, rivalry, bravado, musicianship,
and renewal of hope, Drumline is, indeed, a rare find. It delves
into a world that, perhaps, has never before been seen on the silver
screen—the Black college marching band culture—and it has the exceptional
quality of captivating an audience in its entirety.
Drumline is a fascinating story, brilliantly directed and successfully
captures the breathtakingly complex, and competitive, high-energy
feel of Black college marching band performances. Moreover, audiences
will leave the theatre with a newfound respect for these bands,
especially the pulsating drum line.