The Photograph is a romantic drama and I think being in quarantine gave me an opportunity to finally watch. Now it is available for rent on Prime Video. The movie stars Issa Rae(Mae) and LaKeith Stanfield(Michael). The first thing I noticed was the music as soon as the movie started. I love Al Green as it reminds me of my childhood.
The movie opens with a video of Mae’s mother talking about what she liked about living in New York. Mae is forced to discover her mother’s life after her passing. I found this was a source of pain for Mae because there were so many unanswered questions. It was obvious Mae’s father was a source of comfort. The passing of Mae’s mother allows her to unravel her mother’s past through the letters she left upon her death. New Orleans is the common thread that brings Michael and Mae together. Mae’s mother left New Orleans to pursue her dream of photography in New York City. This time left a lot of unanswered questions for Mae.
Michael and Mae
Michael is a reporter doing research on a New Orleans fisherman who provides a link to Mae’s mother and her photographs. When Michael returns to New York he finds Mae to continue his research and discovers more of the photographs. I think the chemistry was immediate between the two of them. One meeting leads to a movie screening and a first date. The impromptu first date was refreshing. There is something about a first date when everything is new, the conversation is interesting and engaging, and the first kiss is the best ending to the night. Fast forward through Al Green to Ari Lenoxx with Mae and Michael making the most of a stormy night. I love to see the softer side of our relationships on the screen. The stormy night introduces us to Michael’s brother played by Lil Rel(Kyle) and his wife, Teyonna Parris(Asia), and there two daughters. I loved the brother dynamic between Michael and Kyle. The storyline gets a bit complicated after Michael tells Mae he has applied for a job in London. For some reason, Michael decides to stop taking Mae’s calls. They unexpectedly meet in New Orleans. Mae is there to meet her biological father and Michael returns to finalize his research.
As the story unfolds I can see how Mae’s mother disconnected from her past in New Orleans to pursue a new life in New York. Yet, she allowed thirty years to go by and never revealed the truth about Mae’s father. Michael’s search for something more leads him to London. Why is communicating so difficult for us when feelings are involved? It wastes so much time and opportunity. Is real love meant to be difficult? or do we make it difficult? Can happy and comfortable co-exist? I think the ending shows love is about taking a chance, being vulnerable, and not letting too much time pass.
The Photograph is another film on black love but with a unique storyline. I know there are comparisons to Love Jones and I can see some similarities. Photography was a focal point in both films and the other parallel was the main characters did not communicate well when it came to expressing feelings. It did feel easier for them to leave than to love. In both movies the characters were able to reconnect and finally express how they felt. I think the endings in both movies show love is about taking a chance, being vulnerable, and not letting too much time pass. Both movies had amazing soundtracks.