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Talk To Me (2007)

Talk To Me. Feature film. (2007, 118 mins) IMDB

...The world's first shock jock....

Y

ou could do worse than studying this film. There is a classical structure. There are interesting characters. A story arc. Laughs and struggles and an absolute teary moment or two.

TALK TO ME is a biopic of Ralph Emerson "Petey" Greene--a smooth, fast talking black man from Washington, DC. We meet him in jail where he's doing time for minor crimes. He talks to his fellow prisoners as a DJ. He spins records and talks and talks. He's part preacher, truth teller, and a foreshadow of rap music.

We know he wants to get out, who wouldn't, but to what end? To the same dirty streets of crime and poverty? No, he wants something more. More for himself and his people. While in prison he meets Dewey Hughes who works as the program director a local R&B radio station. When Petey leaves prison, he's off to the radio station to get his job as a DJ--no easy task.

So we're introduced to Petey in jail, see him out doing what it takes to land this job and through several tries, he finally gets it, but it isn't easy. His first time on the air is a flop. It's just part of the story. The struggle to succeed.

Act II is his transition and rise as a DJ and with the fame an attempt to move to a higher level: nightclub gigs and television. A big moment comes when he's on THE TONIGHT SHOW with Johnny Carson. He comes out and doesn't stay much. It's a complete failure. No rising star, but in his words, he just was to tell the truth and isn't interested in being another Richard Prior.

If this film fails, it's the third act. It zaps forward through the lives of the characters until we learn of his death at the age of 53.

It's the second time I've seen this film and it's definitely worth seeing once or twice or more.

Posted 2009/01/30 at 19h34ET in Movie Commentary.

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