‘Notorious’ (2009) Movie Review
“Notorious” retraced the life and time of hip hop rapper, Christopher Wallace a.k.a.the “Notorious B.I.G. (Jamal Woolard)” from when he was just an elementary school kid writing lyrics. It showed how young Chris got introduced into the life of selling drugs on the street by his friend,Damion “D Roc” Butler (Dennis L.A. White). He continued to do it all through junior high and high school. Then when he got his girlfriend pregnant, he decided to do it full time. He went overboard with it and got caught.He had to do time in prison,but all the while as a side hobby, he would write some of the best rap lyrics around. He would also win rap battles out on the streets.
It then went on to show how one of his friends got him a meeting with Sean “Puffy” Combs (Derek Luke) who at the time was working for another music label and had not yet started Bad Boy Entertainment” yet. Sean was able to strive forward and start Bad Boy Entertainment with Notorious and Craig Mack. Notorious also met Lil Kim (Naturi Naughton) and helped make her into the Lil Kim hip hop artist we know today.Then it showed how he met Faith Evans (Antonique Smith),and immediately married her after just one month of meeting her.
It also delved in deep behind the scenes and explored how Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie) and Notorious were friends at first ,and how all the fame and misconceptions turned them into enemies thus starting the whole east coast vs. west coast rappers rivalry. It contributed to it really getting out of hand. It then showed the events that happened that faithful day which lead up to him getting shot by a drive by shooter while in the car.
My Take : I thought the movie was excellent and revealed alot of things that went on that you just wouldn’t be aware of unless you were there caught up in the whole scene personally. I was 20 yrs old when all this stuff went down,and I remember watching and hearing about all of it on tv. However, I realize now that all the information I got was sketchy at best. This movie really clarified how things really went down. Maybe not to the exact details or maybe so. I just know that I know more than I did before seeing the movie,and for that reason alone, I think the it did what it was supposed to do.
It was also very entertaining as this was a movie about the hip hop entertainment industry as well. I loved hearing those old songs I hadn’t heard in a while. It took me back to my old college days. I think they did an excellent job with the casting especially with Jamal Woolard who played Biggie. Also from scene to scene how they told the story of Biggie’s life was great in my opinion. For anyone who is interested,liked Notorious Big’s music,or anyone who would just like to get more insight to what actually went on back then, this is a must see film.
Grade : A
Movie : “Notorious” (2009)
Release Date : January 16,2009
Studio : Fox Searchlight Pictures