MIFF Review – Patti Cake

If you like rap, if you like coming of age stories and if you like a film about sticking it to the man this is a film for you. Patti Cake$ is a comedic coming of age story that will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think about your own life’s goals. Oh and you know when you are listening to your jam as you go for a walk, at the gym or even on a crowded bus and you think that it’s you singing the song in front of thousands of people, absolutely nailing it? Yeah this will make you feel like that as well, Patti Cake even does it herself in the film.

Patti Cake$ aka White Trish, aka Juicy Luciano, aka Marilyn Mansion, aka Jane Dough, aka Killa P is the struggling suburbia white chick busting her back to make it in a mans world. Doesn’t help her father isn’t in the picture and her Mum is forcing her to work and squashing any dreams she might have. But her Mum is only doing it because she didn’t make it in the biz herself. She works a dead end job in a bar that hosts a karaoke night, which her Mum is a regular. And to help pay the medical bills of her ailing grandmother, she picks up a private bar tender job. All the while she writes her rhymes and tales. Encouraged by her best friend Jheri who also raps with her, together they find the man to create their beats and the rest of the story is, as you would imagine. Enters a big competition and doesn’t win despite the crowd loving her. Then happen to hear their song on the radio.

Staring the beautiful Aussie actress in her breakout role, Danielle MacDonald absolutely nails her New Jersey rapper character. It is easy to see this role will sky rocket her career in the USA.

This film very much focuses on relationships and internal battles. There’s no dramatic love story, there’s no dwelling on the grief of lost loved ones. And that’s what makes this movie fresh and real. Sure there’s love and loss, but there isn’t time to focus on that side of the story when there is so much more going on.

Don’t expect some stunning camera work or visual effects. Do expect stunning lyrics and music. And because you aren’t getting the high-end special effects and fancy camera work, it makes it real. It brings you down to this poverty, budget and struggling to pay the bills reality. In turn you manage to feel and understand the life she leads the way her mother is the way she is.

It’s one of those films that make you really think about goals and passions in life. How working the dead end 9 to 5 isn’t worth it when you have such passion and dreams. It helps to have a pretty good talent like rapping as well.

Review by Jay Cook

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