2006 / Director. Bryan Barber.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
After the bitter disappointment that came from watching GRAFFITI BRIDGE last night I found myself craving an urban musical of some kind - don't ask me why (fucked if I know). I immediately thought of IDLEWILD, a musical drama from American hip-hop group Outkast. I had seen it twice already and remember enjoying it more the second time and now that I have watched it a 3rd time it is clear to me that IDLEWILD is a grower. I never gave it much credit previously but I'm now thinking that it's underrated. Set in a black community in prohibition-era Southern America, it's a story of gangsters, molls, bootlegging and corruption. Set mostly in a liquor den, come nightclub, we follow the lives of two men (Outkast) as they travel different roads in life. Having grown up together one turned to a life of crime and the other chose a more honest direction. When a ruthless gangster murders one of their fathers they find themselves in an old fashioned turf war. I can't pinpoint what keeps drawing me back to IDLEWILD. Perhaps it's the wonderful costume design or perhaps the cast which also includes Terrence Howard and Ving Rhames... but probably most of all it's the music that sucks me in. With a vintage set design, the film is full of modern hip-hop songs - all of which have a distinctly old time feel to them. OUTKAST make some amazing music and when combined with a contradicting atmosphere it gels together beautifully. The dance sequences are heaps of fun and the script isn't too shabby either. The film never performed well and still remains unknown to most. That's a bit of a shame, although its obscurity lends it a cult status that suits its unconventional nature. If you haven't seen IDLEWILD then check it out... and let it grow on you. Loads of fun.