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Talk to Me

Giving Petey Greene his due
By TOM MEEK  |  July 11, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Talk to Me.

None of Kasi Lemmons’s films (Caveman’s Valentine and Eve’s Bayou) so touches the heart or feels as authentic as Talk to Me, the engaging and superbly acted bio-pic about volatile ex-con Petey Greene, who grew from irrepressible radio jock to the voice of DC’s black populace during the tumultuous ’60s — a period that included the riotous aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Don Cheadle digs to soulful depths as Greene; Chiwetel Ejiofor plays it straight as Dewey Hughes, the suit (“White man with a tan”) who gives Greene his shot and, later, shepherds him to national fame and The Tonight Show. Not only do the two actors play off each other with perfect synergy, they also take on the eccentricities of the era and the politics of race — which Lemmons rightly holds as relevant today. Although the director succumbs to the genre’s temptation to wrap up a messy life with a neat, platitudinous resolution, she lets her cast give Greene and his era its due.
Related: King said George Romney didn't march, Kinky Boots, Interview: Greil Marcus, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Martin Luther King Jr., Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor
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