Sunday 11 February 2024

REVIEW: Origin (2024 film)

Review by Jon Donnis
"Origin," directed by Ava DuVernay, ambitiously tackles the intricate dynamics of racism and bigotry, drawing inspiration from Isabel Wilkerson's seminal work, "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents." The film skillfully blends personal tragedy with historical narrative, offering viewers a thought-provoking journey.

One of the film's notable strengths lies in its innovative use of flashbacks and historical reenactments, which effectively immerse the audience in the narrative. The performances, particularly Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor's portrayal of Isabel Wilkerson, add depth and authenticity to the story.

However, "Origin" is not without its flaws. The persistent focus on Wilkerson's ego often overshadows the exploration of her profound ideas, diminishing the impact of the discourse. Despite DuVernay's commendable attempt to merge drama and documentary elements, the execution occasionally feels heavy-handed and disjointed.

The film's attempt to navigate between family drama, academic inquiry, and historical context is commendable but ultimately lacks cohesion. While the subject matter is undeniably significant, "Origin" struggles to deliver a cohesive cinematic experience.

In summary, while "Origin" presents an intriguing premise, its execution falls short of its potential. Despite its flaws, the film offers moments of insight and reflection, earning a respectable 4 out of 10.

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