Movie Reviews

Published on April 13th, 2020 | by Angele Colageo


Selah And The Spades

Selah (Lovie Simone) is leader of The Spades. One of the five cliques that run the student body in their upper-crust private school. The campus is filled with bored students who nothing better to do than spend the time roiling in teen angst, drugs and group hierarchies.

The school is run by five factions, each one function in a different capacity. Like Student Government for juvenile delinquents. They are organized enough to call group meetings, but not focused enough to get the through without arguments.

This is Selah’s senior year. She is caught between trying to figure out what to do with her life after graduation, waiting for the acceptance letters to come in while she is completely fixated on The Spade’s control over the drug trade on campus. She is also trying to find her successor to run the Spades once she leaves her alma mater. Her best friend, Maxxie (Jharrel Jerome) is her right hand in the Spades. Together, they have kept the five groups running the underground smoothly. It’s their senior year and they have plans.

Paloma (Celeste O’Connor)is the new sophomore at the school. She is immediately befriended by Selah, who quickly decides that Paloma would be the perfect person to inherit the Spades crown for the following year. While Selah tutors Paloma in the business of running the show, Max becomes distracted by a new face on the cheerleading squad, leaving Selah to go into a slow, emotional and mental tailspin.

Overall, the film felt unfocused, as if the purpose was to create a lowkey Lord of the Flies. It’s difficult to find empathy for teenage struggles in a private school setting. The film seems to be about Selah’s concern with losing her identity and the fear of leaving all that is familiar to her as she moves on to her next phase in life.

We see the kids trying to run this warped StuGo, undermining the leaders hold on each group. There isn’t much empathy for the students. They don’t have to worry about their next meal. These kids don’t have to worry about doing well in school in order to earn a scholarship for college.

The story lacks depth. It does not illicit empathy for any of the characters. There is one scene in the film that I had hoped would set the tone for the film. I was disappointed because that scene perfectly encapsulated how women are expected to be and how to they can take control of the narrative. I was hoping for more in this movie and it did not deliver enough.

2 out of 5 stars

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