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Film Review: All Eyez On Me

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All Eyez On Me is a dramatic, entertaining and heartbreaking life story of Tupac Shakar, perfect for anyone who grew up with this man in their life. It’s been twenty years since Tupac was gunned down on the Gaza Strip in Vegas and this film commemorates everything that he was – a poet, an activist, an actor and a rapper - and didn't get a chance to be.

From what I can gather, the story is quite accurate to his life. It follows him through some of the more traumatic moments of his childhood due to his family members all being members of the Black Panthers. It follows his relationships with his mother, his sister, his friends. It follows him through his career as he dropped out of school and was signed up to Digital Entertainment all the way until Death Row Records and his death.

The music that is mixed into the film is something incredibly enjoyable. Each moment of Tupac’s life is marked by the music he realised at that time. It reflects what he was thinking and feeling and adds a connection to the real Tupac Shakar outside the movie’s version of him.

Visually, this film is stunning. It balances these sweet moments of romance or friendship and family – especially in the beginning of the story where Tupac’s skill with words is perfectly demonstrated as he recites poetry to his oldest and closest friend, Jada Pickett Smith - with the much harsher moments of the life Tupac was involved in, as well the horrible truths of growing up in a ghetto.

The most gut wrenching moment, where the cinematography definitely comes into play, is the ending –because you know how this has to end. You know. But the scenes are dragged out, foreshadowed and the camera constantly hints at something beyond that we just can’t see yet. This tension builds and builds and starts to hurt because you realise that this person who you have come to love and care about dies far too young and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Casting for All Eyez On Me is fantastic. Demetrius Shipp Jr., who plays Tupac, looks and sounds exactly like the man himself. It’s incredible the amount of effort that went into making everyone – down to even the smallest of parts – look recognisable to the audience.

All Eyez On Me is a detailed glimpse at the life of Tupac Shakar through the best and worst of his life, and ends with his last moments on earth. It’s beautifully filmed, well scripted and each actor takes great care to play their part with care and respect.

To anyone who grew up listening to Tupac’s music or has only heard his poetry taught in school, this is the film to give you a look at who this man actually was and what makes him a legend.

All Eyez On Me is out now, distributed through Lionsgate.

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