At the core of heart, "Pariah" is a street-smart story of an African American teenager's struggle to come of age and come out — to the father who still calls her "daddy's little girl" and the mother who quotes the Bible and buys her pink frills. It's hard to portray adolescence in film without nostalgia or fantasy. The film captures adolescence in all its awkwardness and tragedy.
The plot follows Alike, a black teenager girl, from home to school to the local gay social scene just a few bus stops from her Brooklyn neighborhood. We see her day to day life. She's an A student, a writer whose poetry speaks from her inner depth. She's wary of her classmates, but they seem merely curious to know the answer to the is-she-or-isn't-she a lesbian question. Certain about her sexual orientation, she's insecure about where she fits in as a young lesbian woman. Her closest friend is Laura, a very obvious butch lesbian who is hated by Alike's mother. Laura, in my opinion has feelings for Alike. Alike's mother is controlling while her father is tired and disillusioned. Alike's mother introduces her to the daughter of a coworker, in hopes of steering her away from Laura but things take a predictable turn, the two girls get in a physical relationship. Alike is happy for once but when she is told by the other girl that it was only an experiment for her, she is heart broken. Laura though initially dejected stands by her friends side always. Unable to take mental stress and her mother's control anymore, she finally blurts it out that she is lesbian. Her mother throws her out of the house. After a few days the father tries to come around and support her daughter but by then she has made a decision to go to college. Sadly, her mother thinks her daughter is dead to her.
First thing that stays with you after the movie ends is the acting by the lead actress. She is just too good. She's quiet, restrained, confused, scared before she finally gets confident and certain. Th emoter did justice to her role. I might not agree 100% to her character but she did what she was asked to do. Some things were not clear wrt why the couple were drifting apart? why was the father always out of him? The script and direction was definitely the highest points of the film. There is more to this film that just lesbianism.
Give this film a chance. You will definitely be satisfied with a meaningful cinema. (8/10)
Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.