For friends Hakeem and A-Mac, fitting in has been a consistent problem. The teenagers have been harshly judged by their peers, and their community hasn’t been welcoming either. However, they find lucrative purpose with a side job – casing expensive vehicles at a local hand car wash they work at. When Hakeem’s timidness becomes more of a social problem and stress from his mother (Oluniké Adeliyi) becomes more noticeable around the house, the boys decide to take control and attempt their first grand theft auto.
Writer/director Darren Curtis, a native Montrealer, is mindful of how he portrays despair and desperation with his young leads (played exceptionally by Nabil Rajo and Jahmil French). He captures heady confidence as the teens, fearlessly, live life on the edge while staying loyal to each other. As soon as that excitement crosses a distinct boundary at the price of Hakeem’s innocence, the film takes shape as a maturing, high strung drama.
The biggest gamble is how Curtis intentionally strays away from safe coming-of-age tropes, although the ending does feature a pivotal and personal arc. Boost could’ve easily centred solely around Hakeem’s perspective but instead, the filmmaker broadens the scope; inviting different relationships that all have candid dialogue and their own sincere core.
Boost: it’s a crime film with a heart.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie