Summary of the movie: Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recall the passion, respect, and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honors the author’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.
My Review: So, I just finished this film literally a minute ago. & y’alllllllllllllllllllllllllll I love this movie. I am almost speechless. I felt like I was just watching a live look at the lives of these people. I did not feel like I was watching a movie AT ALL & I love when movies feel like that! The story is beautiful, heartwarming, and pissed me off. The flow of the movie was clear. I was never confused with the flashbacks & time jumps. I also loved how a lot of the film dialogue was non-verbal which made the acting so much more powerful. The casting was perfect. The visuals were marvelous. The music is stellar. This film is pure cinema.
I think the film does a good job of using the love story of Tish and Fonny to softening the blow of the reality of how black men were and still are treated by society and cops. In the movie, we see the short love story of Tish & fonny, then we see Fonny in jail for a crime he did not commit. As the movie goes on we see how Tish and Fonny deal with her being pregnant and him being in jail. We see how much they love each other and how hard not only Tish but, Tish family fought to prove Fonny innocence and get him released from jail.
In the end, I personally was hoping for a different ending but, I understand that ending was much more realistic. In the end, we see how strong is Tish and Fonny love, and how the criminal justice system fails many black men. we see how the criminal justice system tears apart many minority families than anything else. Definitely one of the best movies I have ever seen.