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The Photograph: Everything We Know

December 4, 2019
5 min read

Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to release a romantic movie and there is no explanation that is needed as to why that is a good idea. ‘The Photograph’ aims to cash in on the festival’s cheesy mood. It is a typically romantic movie, the boy-meets-girl kind that is laden with passionately warm emotion and a rather escapist yet hopeful outlook towards life.

However, the fact that it is a conventional genre movie is its very appeal and even something that makes it justifiably precedent-setting. It features black protagonists that are depicted in a normalized fashion, in the same manner that a non-colored character would be. There is no discourse about racial diversity or injustice as it is a movie about romance, and nothing else. It features black protagonists who are not written to suit the Caucasian gaze or be put in the box of colored characters whose non-whiteness is their most dominant personality trait. It represents black people as regular beings with relatable and complex emotional compasses, like all humans.

Representation of diversity has been increasing these days. In fact, it has almost become bankable to feature characters of diverse identities for renewed interest. In such times, ‘The Photograph’ promises to be a breath of fresh air with its lack of pretensions about diversity and inclusion. It is certainly a milestone movie due to its attempted removal of the forced representation of colored people as being extremely different.

The Photograph Plot: What is it About?

The film follows Mae, a young woman whose mother has recently passed away leaving her with tons of unconfronted feelings. Mae’s mother was someone who prioritized her work over her relationship with Mae and that led to Mae having unfulfilled emotional needs. After her mother’s death, Mae finds several photos of her that point to her being in a relationship with a man that Mae had been unaware about. This leads to more questions in Mae’s mind and feelings of increased distance with her late mother.

In such an emotionally charged head-space, she meets Michael Block, a reporter who is assigned the duty of covering the death of Mae’s mother. Block falls heads over heels for Mae and confesses his love. Mae finds herself becoming more invested and attracted to Block but has to deal with her reservations surrounding love. These reservations have been a result of Mae’s relationship with her mother which get aggravated by her death. Hence, the movie mainly centers around her journey of being open to the idea of being loved.

The Photograph Cast: Who is in it?

‘The Photograph’ features the seriously charming pair of Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. Rae plays the character of Mae, a woman who has recently lost her mother and attempts to get over her reservations about love when she meets a man that she is interested in. The American actress is a prominent performer who has gained significant fame due to her YouTube channel and several notable appearances. She first entered limelight after creating and starring in the YouTube series, ‘The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl’ and has been actively working on her YouTube channel that promotes stories from people of color. She has also created and starred in the HBO television series, ‘Insecure’ which was critically acclaimed for its stereotype-smashing tale. In October this year, Rae’s voice was used by Google for the Google Assistant.

Lakeith Stanfield on the other hand is a rapper and an actor who has been a part of some influential movies in recent times. He was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for his debut movie, ‘Short Term 12.’ He essayed the role of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a civil rights activist in ‘Selma,’ Snoop Dogg in ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and Patrick Haynes in ‘Snowden.’ Moreover, he has also appeared in ‘Get Out’ and the live-action movie, ‘Death Note.’ Currently, he plays the character of Darius Epps on the television show, ‘Atlanta.’  

Chelsea Peretti who is known for playing Gina on ‘Brooklyn 99’ is also a member of the movie’s cast apart from Kevin Harrison Jr. Other actors include Chante Adams and Jasmine Cephas Jones.

The Photograph Crew: Who is Behind It?

‘The Photograph’ is directed by the Canadian filmmaker, Stella Meghie. Meghie made her directorial debut with the 2016 film, ‘Jean of the Joneses.’ She has also written the movie’s screenplay. The movie’s music is composed by three-time Grammy winner, Robert Glasper. He won one of his Grammys for composing the soundtrack for ‘Miles Ahead.’

Mark Schwartzbard is the movie’s cinematographer while editorial duties have been taken care of by Shannon Baker Davis. Universal Pictures is the movie’s distributor.

The Photograph Release Date: When Does it Premiere?

‘The Photograph’ is scheduled to release on February 14, 2020 in the US.

The Photograph Trailer:

You can catch the trailer for ‘The Photograph’ below. It shows Issa Rae’s character voicing her situation and a scintillating Lakeith Stanfield raising the movie’s sugar-coated charm. The trailer promises another hearty story of romance to swoon over and be lost in the notions of soulmates and life-long commitments.

Read More: Best Black Movies of 2019

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