SXSW Review: Fast Color

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Fast Color
Posted by Wilson Morales

March 20, 2018

When one looks at any film that deals with superhero abilities, the quote ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ bears to mind. While the statement is attributed to Uncle Ben from Spider-Man, you can apply it any of these Marvel, DC and other films that deal with individuals who know not what they possess and how to handle it. Such is the case with Julia Hart’s tender but emotional supernatural drama, Fast Color.

Written by Hart and her husband Jordan Horowitz (producer of La La Land), Fast Color is a story about identity and responsibilities that illuminates on screen through the commanding performances of its female led cast. What’s extra special is that the women are Black, which is rare in the sci-fi genre.

Here we have a generation of Black women (Lorraine Toussaint, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Saniyya Sydney) who each possess the ability to move objects in different forms while seeing a variety of colors. At the center of the film is Ruth (Mbatha-Raw), who’s on the run from scientists looking for answers to her abilities. Having developed seizures growing up and causing little eathquakes, her “powers” are unbalanced, which led her to leave home for the safety of herself and others. Years later and yearning for her family, Ruth comes back to see her mom Bo (Toussaint) and estranged daughter Lila (Sydney).

While seeking answers to her inability to control her gifts, Ruth and Bo work at patching their fragile relationship while Lila starts to figure out what went wrong in the first place. In the meantime, a local sheriff (David Strathairn) is on the trail of Ruth and so are the scientists she escaped from.

Aside from the middle part of the film that drags a bit, Hart commits to exploring this story about family and relationships in a sci-fi setting. Mbatha-Raw has never been better in tackling this role of a lost sole seeking a home. Toussaint is simply amazing as Bo and is a force to be reckon with. Having seen her performances in Ava DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere and on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, she brings a certain level of confidence to the characters she plays. With the lack of Black female roles on screen, it’s refreshing to see Toussaint shine as the matriarch of the family. Featured in Oscar nominated films such as Hidden Figures and Fences, Saniyya Sydney is definitely one to watch.

Fast Color is an entertaining and moving sci-fi drama that all can watch.


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