I love movies especially those that are not only entertaining, but teach you valuable lessons about life. Illicit, an Official Selection of the 2016 American Black Film Festival, has many hidden lessons about the complexity of living life.
No one is immune from the curve balls that life can sometimes throw at us, but the choices we make in life can certainly reap dire results.
I love the way the writers Corey Grant and Lanett Tachel Proctor reminded the audience marriage is sacred and that any relationships outside of marriage is considered morally not acceptable. I thought it was an ingenious way to bring across that message by juxtaposing pictures of happily married couples in the opening credits of the movie.
The movie chronicles the life of Guy and Sasha Curtis (David Ramsey from CW show Arrow as John Diggle, Showtime TV series Dexter as Anton Briggs, and Mother and Child as Joseph, Shireen Crutchfield an actress known for Love and a Bullet, Hot Boyz, and Judgment Day.)
Like every married couple there are bound to be challenges. Guy and Sasha’s struggles began when Sasha wants to return to modeling, but much to her dismay her husband sees her role as a stay at home mom as more important than her seeking to rekindle her modeling career. Many arguments ensue, and Sasha eventually out of frustration goes behind her husband back by doing a photo shoot with a photographer. McKinley Freeman who played Derek Roman from HBO show Hit the Floor plays Lance the charming, full of sex appeal, photographer. But behind the sex appeal lurks a creepy man who turns out to be a controlling, and manipulative sexual deviant. Sasha ends up having sex with Lance which was a big mistake .
Guy falls prey to female parolee Faren Wilson (Michele Weaver actress from Sister Code, 2Lava 2Lantula, and Switched at Birth) Faren lured Guy down the path of infidelity. The character of Faren makes one think of how one’s life can turn drastically in the wrong direction by making the wrong choice. A Howard University graduate, Faren made the wrong decision by getting into a relationship with an abusive boyfriend. Even though she tried to defend herself from being bludgeoned to death by the abusive boyfriend, she ends up paying the ultimate price by going to prison. Faren is a complex character and one is compelled to feel compassion for her. But, in the end her full intentions are revealed and it will leave you in a state of shock.
I like the way the writers had both the wife and husband seeking sexual relationship outside their marriage. It portrays that both men and women can get tempted down the road of infidelity.
Sasha’s best friend Tai, played by Lanett Tachel Proctor brings some much-needed comedic relief. Tai is a great example of a close friend that fulfills what researchers have concluded: Researchers say friends may exert a healthy influence on mood, self-esteem, and coping in times of difficulty. The study also stipulates having a strong network of friends can help you live longer too. Tai’s character, in my opinion exemplify when you have challenges in life, it is much better to seek sound ways to deal with these challenges. Tai uses her blog therapeutically to manage her frustrations and insecurities. It warmed my heart because in my own life, writing is my number one way to help navigate some of life’s curve balls.
In conclusion, Illicit is masterfully written. This well-paced movie will take the viewer on a thrill ride. More importantly, Illicit will get you talking about how it is never worth it to cheat on your spouse. The consequences of such actions have too many possible devastating outcomes. The ending will surprise the viewer, and I think this is what makes the movie so endearing. Additionally, it is refreshing to view a black movie that is not about slavery. It is certainly a much-needed reprieve to watch a movie of blacks navigating through everyday challenges that does not entail a slave and his or her master.
Illicit can help generate philosophical conversations about not letting bad choices we make in life define who you are and who you can become. We all make decisions that can render us in a state of denial, which can in turn cripple us from moving forward. We can’t change the past, but we can certainly control what the future will look like. It starts by the individual finding the courage to forgive himself/herself, and then making a concerted effort to move forward .
For more information about Illicit visit the website here
Out of 5 stars I rate Illicit a 5!
Illicit is currently available for viewing ON DEMAND on your local cable provider. (Ex: Time Warner, Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, Dish, & Direct TV to name a few.) Also Amazon, ITunes, Xbox, PlayStation