CHI-RAQ an Amazon Original Movie [Ultra HD]

Watch CHI-RAQ an Amazon Original Movie [Ultra HD]

  • R
  • 2015
  • 2 hr 6 min
  • 5.9  (10,608)
  • 77

In the city of Chicago, violence and gun crime are at an all-time high, with a death toll higher than that of American soldiers in Iraq. In response to this epidemic, director Spike Lee presents CHI-RAQ, an Amazon Original Movie released in 2015, that tackles the issue of gun violence in America in a unique and thought-provoking way.

The movie is a modern-day adaptation of the ancient Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes, set in Chicago's notorious Englewood neighbourhood, where gang violence is rampant. When a young girl is accidentally caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting, Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris), a young woman from the neighbourhood, decides that she has had enough of the violence and decides to take a stand. She convinces the women of the community to band together and withhold sex from their partners until the men agree to put down their guns and stop the violence.

The film is divided into several parts, each with its own unique style, colour scheme, and tone. The first part of the film is a musical number that sets the tone for what is to come. With rap artist "Nick Cannon" playing a gangster rapper named "Chi-Raq" who sings his way through the film, it is clear that CHI-RAQ is not a typical drama. Its use of music and poetry serves as a commentary on the African American culture that has been at the centre of this gun violence.

Lee's direction is masterful and unique as always, and he uses his signature shots to create a visual language that breathes life into the story. Throughout the film, we see time lapses, fast cuts, pans, zooms, and other cinematic techniques that build tension and keep the audience engaged.

Teyonah Parris is magnetic in the lead role, and her presence on the screen is a powerful representation of the women of Englewood. She is a strong-willed and intelligent woman who is committed to her cause, and her performance shines throughout the film. Her chemistry with Wesely Snipes, who plays a preacher in the neighbourhood, is particularly notable.

The supporting cast is superb, featuring some of the most iconic African-American actors of all time. Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Dave Chappelle all bring their A-game to the film, delivering powerful performances that serve to raise the stakes of the story.

The film's message is clear: gun violence is a problem that affects us all, and we need to take action to address it. By using the ancient story of Lysistrata as a starting point, Lee is able to explore the impact of gun violence on the African American community and the role of women in preventing it.

The movie's use of humour is particularly notable, with Lee finding ways to inject a sense of satire even into the most serious of situations. At the same time, CHI-RAQ provides an unflinching look at the realities of gun violence in America and the toll it takes on communities.

The film's bold use of colour and lighting is also impressive, with each section of the film taking on a unique colour scheme that reflects the mood and atmosphere of the story. The blend of music, poetry, and drama, highlights the film's mystical world where time often stands still, and characters occasionally break out into song, making the film an emotionally charged piece of cinema.

In conclusion, CHI-RAQ is an unapologetically audacious film that tackles one of the most significant issues of our time and manages to do it with both grace, humour and intelligence. The film's message is delivered with power and poignancy, bringing attention to a problem that affects us all. With its excellent performances, captivating visuals, and unique storytelling style, it is a film that is well worth watching, and a testament to the power of cinema to address social issues.

CHI-RAQ an Amazon Original Movie [Ultra HD]
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 6 min
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (10,608)
  • Metascore