What an interesting movie. It managed to tackle some of the hardest social issues that we are facing today, but it was also comical and uplifting. The movie felt real. The cinematography almost felt like it was from a high quality documentary and the movie didn’t feel overly polished or perfect. It was perfectly down to earth and genuine. The many actors and extras playing homeless men throughout the film felt authentic and even led me to question if the production included current or former homeless folks in the cast or as extras. The movie wasn’t perfect. The female characters in particular felt a bit off. The female librarian and main character’s love interest felt like caricatures of real women with the first being the stereotype of a social justice warrior hipster while the second was kind of like a manic pixie dream girl, taking manic to the max. Despite this lack in character development, the script treated its homeless characters well. It didn’t try to romanticize the homeless or show them as perfect; it showed the mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction that plagues the community. However, it also showed their humanity and background. We learned that many of them were veterans, came from families, had lives in the past. We learned about camaraderie that exists within this community. The audience also got to see that homelessness is not permanent. There are people like the main character who turn their lives around. Meanwhile, we also got quite a few laughs and left with a general feeling of joy and promise. The entire theater burst out in laughter when 100 men came out of the library completely naked singing in unison. However, that amusement was tinged with just a bit of sadness when one character said “they’ll never forget this” and the audience knew that this story would be like any in the world today where the forgotten and oppressed continue to be forgotten and oppressed.
Image courtesy of medium.com.