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Review: Restless City

Andrew Dosunmu's pseudo-noir
By MILES BOWE  |  August 14, 2012

Andrew Dosunmu's pseudo-noir Restless City tries to avoid "style over substance." It doesn't. Djibril (Sy Alassane), an immigrant from Senegal, wants to make it as a singer, but is stuck peddling CDs on the streets of Harlem. He meets a young prostitute, Trini, and tries to help her at any cost. Dosunmu, a celebrated Senegalese photographer, shoots the film with obvious expertise. In one scene Djibril visits a music producer in his studio with hopes of recording a demo. Between the two men, in the glass, we see the ghostly reflection of the musician being recorded as if Djibril's hopes are so strong they're taking physical form. Unfortunately the characters and plotlines never gel and often feel painfully clichéd. Djibril's struggle never compels because he's barely there as a character, and what initially comes off as Alain Delon-style cool just becomes tedious by the end. Restless City looks gorgeous, but has nothing to say.

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  Topics: Reviews , film, Noir
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    Andrew Dosunmu's pseudo-noir Restless City tries to avoid "style over substance."
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