American Fiction – Movie Reviews by Ry!

American Fiction – Between Family and Ink: A Writer’s Worth

To speak about life is to push the buttons of the unknown.  Through the honest and surreal, everything within our purview marks splendor with disdain.  Within a medium like film, this blend of zeal and satire provides a mirror upon unwanted moments but can lead to a unique journey.  In this review, I look at the latest satire/drama film.  Within a tale of reflective guise, it showcases human nature to the obvious degree.  With interesting characters upon the rawness of perception, American Fiction is a riveting tale that puts a mirror of truth of a writer’s perspective.   

In this story, we follow Thelonious ‘Monk’ Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) as he juggles his novelist life with complex family issues.  With an unknown path ahead, will he be able to survive and write another great book.  Within the general contours of this tale, it builds off that typical reflective journey of self-discovery, but becomes something more.  The story begins with a raw reflective scene of social endeavors; a witty situation that showcases ‘who is Monk’.  From his unusual introduction, we come to learn he is a professor and novelist but has struggled to publish new work because of a ‘changing’ landscape in the reading culture.  Paralleling these struggles is his family (back in Boston), with uncertainty of how to deal with his aging mother.  After a series of daunting revelations, Monk decides to do the unthinkable: publish a complete fabricated tale under a pseudo name as a joke against certain social norms.  This specific moment becomes the catalyst for the film, driving up the satirical tone within complex details of family, relationships, and idealism.  As his book continues to rise in popularity, this unique draw provides an intricate web within different areas of Monk’s life.  This allows for honest conversations with his mother, siblings, girlfriend and publishing partner, creating a dissection of the thematic appeal within witty dialogue.  The rawness of moments creates situations that are smartly riveting within a balance of drama and satire, allowing for an ironic grounded sensation within the abstract notion of the journey.

As Monk continues to dual between his familial obligations and nuance of a book, it leads to some unpredictable moments of strong character appeal.  Within that delicate balance of comedic quips and dramatic zeal, the journey of what is truly important becomes a shattering of Monk’s own purview of personal worth.  With everything coming to a crossroads, we head into a third act that throws a curve ball to that predictable ‘self-discovery’ motif.  Within the third act, it thrust the satire upon the irony of realism, building towards a climax and epilogue where Monk reflects upon his own story in a different way.  American Fiction is a film that provides genuine appeal in its own way.  With strong characters and a smartly written script, there is a lot of appeal here.  If you are a fan of satirical dramas, this is one for you.  For me, it was worth the full price of admission.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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