Dolemite Is My Name is one of the best pieces I’ve seen this year.
It is such a refreshing take on business in Hollywood and how the industry works. Dolemite highlights the work, money and politics that go into making a comedy record and eventually a budgeted film. It also deals with censorship and independent marketing in a very candid way. It definitely presents the moviegoing experience and how the general audience accepts certain films and how film criticism, whether it be good or bad, drives the box office sales. I can honestly say that this is a perfect film.
At it’s centre, the heart of this film, is Eddie Murphy’s tenacity, energy and quick wit as he embodies the Godfather of Rap, Rudy Ray Moore. Eddie Murphy has never been better, this is his best role and proves that he is a fantastic actor. Rudy Ray Moore’s simple dream about seeing his name in lights carries the entire film and the pacing was spot on. Murphy’s connection with fellow actors brought this film together because they all knew the gravity of this story and the importance of black representation on screen. Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed and Wesley Snipes as Durville Martin were scene stealers and their presence was felt throughout. Murphy was divine, his characterization was on point and his physicality made me howl! They did justice to Rudy Ray Moore’s legacy and they should all be proud of that.
The film also speaks about the mainstream studios taking a gamble on independent films. It has always been like that but to blatantly speak about it in a Netflix film is super important here. Dolemite is playing on select screens BUT it’s playing internationally in everyone’s homes. It’s a different level of global connectivity and that is why Dolemite Is My Name is a very important picture. It deals with the fluctuating industry and the gamble on a dream.