The action in 'Big Words' takes place on one day, but this is a very special day. It is 4th November 2008. Election Day USA, when as we all now know America will vote in Barack Obama as it's very first black President. There is a feeling of hope and change everywhere, you can feel it in the air. And on this day in the Big Apple we meet 3 African American men, all on different journeys in life, yet back in the 90's they were joined together as a struggling rap group called DLP (Down Low Poets) desparately trying to hit the big time. The band consisted of quiet and moody John, a.k.a. "Big Words" who got his title through his highly skilled intricate rhyming, straight up hip hopper James a.k.a. "JayVee Da Mac" and their manic beat-crazy dj Terry, a.k.a. "DJ Malik". Unfortunately, as Big Words tells a character in the film, the band's short career in the music business never really got off the ground and they were unable to enter the 'Jay Z terriority' of magically turning words into massive amounts of money. So the years have passed and most of what we see on this eventful day occurs in Brooklyn, New York.
On the historic morning of election day we see John "Big Words" being 'let go' from his computer fixing job by a boss who thinks he is softening the blow by exclaiming it looks pretty certain that Obama will get to the White House. For "Big Words" the rest of the day, as too his life in general, looks bleak with no promise and no change. On his travels he comes across Annie, a dancer with aspirations of making it big in the music business with her sultry, soulful singing voice. Through his dealings with her he has to make contact with his ex- band member (and cousin) James which brings up painful issues unresolved from the past. Soon all 3 members meet and have to reflect on hard truths concerning the past, and dreams of what might have been. Most important of all they each have to look at themselves and reality. What might have been.
The ensemble cast delivered fresh, impressive performances. Mentions should go to Dorin Missick (from TV's 'Southland') who played the introverted John, Gbenga Akinnagbe (from TV's 'The Wire) who played the conflicted James and Darien Sill-Evans who played with great comic timing Terry. The central female role of Annie was executed with a nice touch by Yaya Alafia (some may recognise her as a former contestant on the hit reality TV show 'America's Next Top Model and she can also currently be seen in the US No. 1 film, 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'). Yaya is definitely proving herself to be quite a capable actress. I must add I thought it was quite ironic in a film with hip hop in the foreground to have an established rapper in the cast, and not have her spit one word, however that was the case with much respected Jean Grae who showed off her acting skills as Bree, DJ Malik's girfriend giving him the speech he so badly needed to hear.
'Big Words' is a very entertaining, orginial film that deserves to be seen by a wide audience. Highly recommended.
I have included a recent 10 minute 'Question & Answer' session from the writer/director Neil Drumming about 'Big Words':