REVIEW: Patti Cake$

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Review by Dustin Heller

Patti Cake$ is a coming-of-age drama that burst onto the scene after rave reviews coming out of Sundance back in January.  The film is directed by acclaimed commercial and music-video director Geremy Jasper, who makes his feature length film debut with the Patti Cake$.  You probably won’t recognize the names in the cast, but take my word for it, they are all spectacular.  The film stars Danielle Macdonald as Patti Cake$, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie and Cathy Moriarty.  Patti Cake$ is rated R for language throughout, crude sexual references, some drug use and a brief nude image.

Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, is an aspiring rapper and full-time bartender who dreams of making it big in the hip-hop world.  Problem is, Patti is stuck in her Jersey apartment helping out her mother and looking after her grandmother.  In her down time, she hangs with her music partner and BFF, Jheri, as they are constantly looking for their big break.  Patti has all the talent in the world, but her situation and circumstances seem to always get in her way.  Her struggle is real and she finally starts to question whether or not her dreams will ever become reality.

The storyline and acting performances alone make Patti Cake$ a great film, but mix in a dope soundtrack and you’ve got the makings of one of the best films of the year.  Geremy Jasper has created a coming-of-age drama that is both heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time.  It is a story of hope and redemption, all while showing the real life struggles and challenges of trying to make it in this crazy world.

Before you go thinking this is some dry and boring Indie film, I’ll just say that Patti Cake$ is downright hilarious at times, oh and did I mention, it has an incredible soundtrack.  I would encourage anyone seeing this movie to seek out the manager of the theater and ask them to turn the volume up to eleven; you will be blown away!

Jasper is the mastermind behind it all, but much of the credit has to go to fabulous cast.  From top to bottom, each and every actor fully embodied their role and elevated the film in their own way.  For an Australian girl with no rap experience like Danielle Macdonald to transform into a hip-hop superstar from Jersey is truly amazing.  Needless to say, Patti Cake$ falls into the must-see category for me and is definitely one of my favorite films of the year thus far.

Grade:  A+

Patti Cake$ opens in Indianapolis on Wednesday, August 30

You can follow Dustin Heller on Instagram @eatindywatchindie.