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Movie Review: 'All Eyez on Me' shines light on talented artist's life

Demetrius Shipp Jr. resurrects the spirit of Shakur

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Movie Review: 'All Eyez on Me'

'All Eyez on Me' is based on the life of Tupac Shakur, one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time.

It begins with Shakur (Demetrius Shipp, Jr.) sitting in jail, while being interviewed by a journalist. That's followed by a series of flashbacks beginning with his childhood raised by his mother and step-father, who were both a part of the Black Panther movement. We are introduced to the ongoing civil rights conflict between his mother and the government. While living in an unstable home, this intelligent teen finds joy in Shakespeare and the arts.

 Shakur finds his big break with Digital Underground and then joins Death Row with Shug Knight, a man who controls his career and money. As Shakur rises in fame, he is faced with conflict between being a voice for the oppressed, poor and reflecting the needs of a young man.

This film follows the success, challenges and controversy of the young artist through the last moment of his life, when he is gunned down while sitting in a car on the Las Vegas Strip.

The upside: The movie flows chronologically through Shakur's life while embedding the pivotal moments that made America love and hate this artist.

The downside: The movie lacks depth in its portrayal of his mother's and sister's characters. Some moments end abruptly without clarity before going on to the next scene. Some moments between Shakur and his friend Jada Pinkett inaccurately portray what really happened, with the exception of their close relationship.

Overall, this is an entertaining and enlightening film that highlights the strengths and weakness of a phenomenal artist seeking a balance between self awareness and growth.

 

 


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