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Minhal Baig We Grown Now Interview The Movie Blog

We Grown Now: Director Minhal Baig Gets Real

Ever feel like Hollywood forgot about stories from the projects? We Grown Now steps up to the plate, reminding us that real coming-of-age tales still exist. But this ain’t your average teen flick. Buckle up for a journey through the vibrant chaos of 1992 Chicago, where two young boys navigate friendship, dreams, and the harsh realities of their environment. As someone who grew up in the projects myself, this movie hits a little too close to home… in a good way.

We Grown Now centers on Malik and Eric, best friends growing up in Chicago’s legendary (and now demolished) Cabrini-Green housing projects. Director Minhal Baig paints a picture so vivid it’s almost uncomfortable. We’re talking about that broken elevator you pray doesn’t swallow you whole, that ever-present scent of stale urine, and of course, the ubiquitous yellow bricks. The movie even throws a curveball with bricks…in the shower?!

We Grown Now

From the details like Lil Rey slinging pizza pies at Chester’s to the shocking revelation that residents had to pay for their own utilities, the film captures the essence of project life with brutal honesty. Even Jurnee Smollett seems a tad young to play Malik’s momma, but hey, sometimes age ain’t nothing but a number in life.

A Symphony of Sound and Silence

While the visuals might be a punch to the gut, the soundtrack takes a different approach. Forget the usual Hip Hop and R&B. We Grown Now is layered with strings, creating a strangely beautiful counterpoint to the harsh realities on screen. It’s almost like the music is a deliberate attempt to find beauty in the struggle.

Speaking of interesting choices, the film never shows the teacher that Malik and Eric have a crush on so she’s almost like a character out of a Peanuts cartoon. It’s a quirky detail that adds to the movie’s unique charm. We Grown Now isn’t afraid to show the humanity of growing up poor. It’s a celebration of friendship and the simple joys of being a kid, even when your playground is a warzone. Remember the Pledge of Allegiance in elementary school? Yeah, this movie throws it back to those days too.

There’s a scene with Malik’s grandma shuffling around in a Muumuu, muttering about “holding on to the little bit we got.” Damn, that line hits hard. And then there’s the scene with the police enforcing ID checks for residents entering their own building. This is a chilling reminder of the constant surveillance faced by people of color in low-income communities.

The tragedy that occurs in the movie is handled with a heartbreaking authenticity. The movie doesn’t dwell on the details, just like you wouldn’t dwell on them in real life. It’s a constant undercurrent of fear and loss that young people in the hood have to live with.

A Window to a Different World

We Grown NowThere’s a recurring motif of the project window throughout the film. It’s a constant reminder of the world outside, a world filled with opportunity that feels just out of reach. It’s a cage, but also a symbol of hope. While the narrative might lean towards documentary-style at times, the heart of We Grown Now lies in its characters. The child actors deliver genuine performances that will have you reminiscing about your own childhood best friend. There’s a scene where Malik dreams of buying his mom a house. It feels like this is a dream shared by countless kids in these places who just want to give back to their families.

The film doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of project life. There is a constant threat of violence, a lack of resources, and broken homes. It’s all there, but it’s presented with a raw honesty that avoids sensationalism. We also learn about Malik’s grandma’s story and how she and her husband lost their store and ended up in the projects. It’s a harsh reality as black families systematically pushed out of their communities and forced into these concrete jungles. This backstory adds another layer of depth to the film’s exploration of poverty and race.

A Story That Needed to Be Told

We Grown Now is a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll. It’s a powerful coming-of-age story that tackles themes of poverty, race, and the enduring power of friendship. It’s a film that forces you to confront uncomfortable truths, but it also offers a glimmer of hope. This is a story that needed to be told, and Minhal Baig deserves props

We Grown Now

So, is We Grown Now a movie you should watch? Absolutely. Here’s the deal:

  • It’s a coming-of-age story that’s raw and real, a far cry from the sugar-coated Hollywood fare.
  • It doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff, but it also celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
  • The soundtrack is a unique blend that creates a powerful atmosphere.
  • The performances by the young actors are nothing short of phenomenal.

We Grown Now might not be an easy watch, but it’s a necessary one. It’s a film that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what it means to dream, even when the odds are stacked against you.

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  • Minhal Baig We Grown Now Interview The Movie Blog
    Interviews

    We Grown Now: Director Minhal Baig Gets Real

    Ever feel like Hollywood forgot about stories from the projects? We Grown Now steps up to the plate, reminding us that ...
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