Film Review: Mickey Hardaway

Film Review: Mickey Hardaway

Mickey Hardaway is a debut feature film written and directed by Marcellus Cox. It’s an ambitious debut that seeks to explore the facets of black male vulnerability across different age groups without melodrama.

We follow Mickey Hardaway as he tries to both mentally and physically leave the past and abuse he suffered behind. He’s a naturally gifted artist and it is this gift he hopes is his golden ticket to a new life.

Usually, I’m wary of the use of black and white in modern films. However, it works here beautifully. There’s what I would call a Wizard of Oz moment demonstrating that Cox has a real eye for holding and taking the audience on a journey and crucially can deliver. The black and white mirrors how Mickey sees the world through the abusive childhood lens he still views everything through.

Cox’s style reminded me of a young Spike Lee, more restrained but reflecting the world rather than trying to give us a fantasy or satire. It’s refreshing to see a film look at the different facets of black men as artistic and emotional. We need more of that: representation matters. Mercifully, the abusive father is not comically bad. My only criticism is that the female characters are thinly drawn.

However, for a debut feature this is coherent and well made. It took me on an emotional journey and kept my attention.

Available to stream on Prime Video.



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