Watch Guava Island
- 55 min
Guava Island is a 2019 musical film that stars Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino), Rihanna, Letitia Wright, and Nonso Anozie in prominent roles. Directed by Hiro Murai and written by Stephen Glover, the film follows a day in the life of a young musician named Deni Maroon (Donald Glover), who dreams of bringing joy to his community through his music. Set on a fictional island named Guava Island, the film opens with a prologue narrated by Rihanna, setting up the backstory of the island, the people, and the dictator-like businessman Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie) who controls it. We learn that the island is a hub for textile manufacturing, and its workers are oppressed and overworked. Deni is one of them, who works at the factory during the day and spends his evenings writing music and performing at local events. The film takes place on the day of the island's annual festival, during which the people of Guava Island take a day off from work to celebrate and have fun. Deni has planned a surprise performance for the festival, for which he has rehearsed a new song - "This is America" - which he believes can inspire the islanders to stand up for their rights and fight for a better life. However, Cargo learns of Deni's plan to perform during the festival and orders him to cancel it, fearing it could incite rebellion among the people. As Deni navigates his way through the day, trying to avoid Cargo's men and find a way to perform his music, he is accompanied by his girlfriend Kofi (Rihanna) and his best friend Yara (Letitia Wright). The trio has a playful dynamic that is evident from their humorous conversations and interactions. Deni's love for Kofi is palpable throughout the film, and her presence is a driving force behind his passion for music. The film is not only a musical, but it also has a strong political message. Deni's song "This is America" is a call to action for the oppressed people of Guava Island, urging them not to be complacent in their suffering and to rise up against their oppressors. As Deni puts it, "We have a day, that's it. We don't own nothing else." The film highlights the stark contrast between the rich and the poor, as the factory owners live in luxury while the workers live in squalor. The cinematography of the film is noteworthy, as it creates a vibrant and stylized portrayal of Guava Island. The vibrant colors, the tropical scenery, and the lively music create a sense of joy and celebration that is infectious. The film's score, which features a blend of Caribbean and African rhythms, is a highlight and adds to the film's overall charm. The performances of the cast are outstanding, with Donald Glover in particular delivering a compelling portrayal of Deni. Glover's charisma and charm make him an engaging protagonist, and his musical talents shine throughout the film. Rihanna, who has a smaller role than Glover, still manages to make an impact with her natural screen presence. Letitia Wright's performance as Yara is also notable, as she provides a much-needed dose of humor to the film. In conclusion, Guava Island is a delightful and moving film that blends music, humor, and social commentary to create a unique cinematic experience. Its straightforward narrative is elevated by its exceptional cast and stunning cinematography. Despite being a musical, the film manages to tackle weighty issues of class struggle, oppression, and the human desire for freedom. Any fan of Donald Glover or Rihanna's music and acting should definitely give this film a watch.