Small Axe: Lovers Rock

DailyView: Day 290, Movie 407

The second film in the Small Axe series of films directed by Steve McQueen and this one works in the DailyView both for Black History Month and romance (Valentine’s Day). This film was called Lovers Rock.

Lovers Rock was a totally different type of film from Mangrove, and something that I have not seen the like of before. Lovers Rock is the story of a couple of lovers (Michael Ward and Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) who met at a reggae house party in West London in the year 1980, although calling this a story might be stretching the definition a bit. There is not much of a narrative running through the film as it is really focused on the house party and the expression of joy brought on by the music.

There is legitimately more time spent on the dance floor than on the characterization of any individual character. There were a couple of characters that appear that are given some moments, but moments are all that there is.

I found the second half of this film considerably better than the first half, mainly because of one song in particular found during that first part that had a high note at the end of a chorus that is sung by the whole room which felt like it was screeching. That screeching note drove me nutty, like nails on a chalkboard, and the song really never seemed to end. It dominated, crushed… any enjoyment I may have had during that part of the film.

After that song ended, the film improved for me, but it really never got to the point where I was truly engaged in what they were doing. Some of other songs played in Lovers Rock were more entertaining, but there was just not enough to recover.

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