We all remember where we were on November 8, 2016. Pacing the room in anticipating, chanting in the streets in the middle of a victory or curled up crying at the shocking results, the image and memories are vivid and seared in everyone’s memory no matter what side of the aisle you may be on. Qasim Basir’s A Boy. A Girl. A Dream brings us back to that fateful night and gracefully sets his story at the forefront of election night without having it steal focus (though putting the Election Night returns on screen recreates an anxiety that still feels all too familiar).
On that night, Cass (Omari Hardwick) is out with some friends at a club and meets Frida (Meagan Good), who isn’t having the best night of her life. Their meet-cute turns a bit hostile quickly, when Cass is a bit too forward at the club, taking Frida by surprise. In an unlikely event a bit later, Cass ends up helping Frida and they continue to talk and get to know each other. Cass is a filmmaker, struggling with how to release his latest piece and Frida is a lawyer, who is having some issues with her boyfriend.
“Basir’s stylistic choice of shooting the film in one take is an easy gimmick to write off but it never feels boastful or self-congratulatory.”
As the night continues, Cass and Frida get to know more about each other and ruminate about their hopes and dreams, often trying to encourage each other about their respective situations. A Boy. A Girl. A Dream has us follow them the entire night in Los Angeles, all in one single take, just listening in and sharing in similar issues. The majority of their conversations can be boiled out – admittedly, reductively – to the big question: What’s next? Wouldn’t we all like to know?
Basir’s stylistic choice of shooting the film in one take is an easy gimmick to right off but it never feels boastful or self-congratulatory. A Boy. A Girl. A Dream is a stripped-down examination of two people, who are seemingly at two different spots in their life but find a common ground with each other’s company. Hardwick and Good have a strong chemistry with each other, having to run a range of antithetical and compassionate. Their journey is worth going on.
For any lulls that may occur in conversation with Cass and Frida, Basir continues to keep us invested in their night because we all had a mutual investment, one way or another, on that particular night. A Boy. A Girl. A Dream may seem simple but every frame is a vibrant work of a passionate filmmaker.
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream (2018) Directed by Qasim Basir. Written by Qasim Basir and Samantha Tanner. Starring Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good.