The journey of an aspiring artist who has yet to find her true talents.
Charles Murray‘s THINGS NEVER SAID (2013) is perhaps one of the most understated films of 2013. Its message overall is poignant: continue to pursue one’s dreams despite difficult personal experiences that audiences whether or not they are African Americans. The complicated issues the characters experience piece together brilliantly and they use these experiences to create passionate spoken word pieces put forth by talented poets. Kalindra Stepney (Shanola Hampton) aspires to be a poet. She constantly finds inspiration in her difficult daily life, whether it be dealing with the miscarriage of her child or her abusive husband Ronnie (Elimu Nelson). Kalindra then meets Curtis (Omari Hardwick), a man who has an interest in her and her poetry. The two develop an artistic and romantic bond as the details of their past and present begin to unravel.
Things Never Said beautifully portrays issues African Americans face in society and how it takes its toll spiritually and emotionally. Kalindra is a positive and brilliant female protagonist. Her unfortunate life experiences keep her in continual emotional conflict and abusive relationships. Yet, her inner fire for creativity has not extinguished, and she continually strives to achieve her dream. It is very easy to empathize and relate to her struggle as she develops her talent in the face of multiple challenges.
The secondary characters in the film are also well-written, each representing different types of people that exist both in the black community and outside. Curtis is a very fitting love interest for Kalindra, and although he comes across as the standard cheesy “player” type character in the first few minutes of his introduction. Curtis’ character is as equally complex, talented and challenging. It was an emotional experience to watch the artists help support one another while dealing with their own personal conflicts.
The poetry recited in the film is enjoyable and improves when Kalindra’s personal conflicts transcend her work. Eventually, she reaches her goal and performs her work at the Nuyorican Cafe in New York City. Through poetry and with the help of Curtis, Kalindra is able to find her voice and heal her emotional wounds.
Things Never Said is an African American film that is highly recommended. It is a riveting story that does not get enough main stream recognition.
Things Never Said comes with an Ultraviolet code for streaming.
• Special features for Things Never Said include:
• Audio Commentary with director Charles Murray, Shanola Hampton and Elimu Nelson
• “Making Things Never Said” Featurette
Charles Murray and the cast delve into how and why the film came about. Murray reveals he was inspired by his mother and her abusive relationship to his father and wanted to create a type of film that is rarely seen in the African American community. The cast were very invested in making the film and working with one another to produce such a powerful film.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2013 of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.