DANCES WITH FILMS 2023 REVIEW! Angie’s Cure, directed and written by Corey Grant, is a dramatic revenge thriller that takes place in the heart of Los Angeles’ African American community, Crenshaw Boulevard. This street is the epicenter of a life-changing event for Angie (Lanett Tachel), a beautiful Black teenager. Tragically, she’s traumatized by rape, violence, and perpetual societal problems that are never addressed. She’s like any teenager wanting to get dressed up, go out with girlfriends, and meet boys.
Unfortunately, Angie’s world is not so plain and simple. Sneaking out with her friends, she is naïve to gang elements and drug use or partying, which leads to her being raped, which scares her of men for the rest of her life. On the fateful night that Angie loses her innocence, Detective Sheila Hart (Essence Atkins) brings her home. Angie is forced to face her mother, Denyce (Denise Boutte). Denyce dominating, angry, and strung out on pot and other things, is resentful of Angie for raising a daughter that forced her into a life she never wanted.
Ten years later, Angie’s working in a beauty salon owned by Carla (Vanessa Williams). Carla’s a confident and booming independent Black woman who appreciates Angie. As the owner prepares for a vacation, a robbery occurs at the salon. At this moment, Angie’s inner demons are brought out, and she finds her revenge. What ensues is very interesting. The robber, JD (Sean Nelson), becomes Angie’s prisoner, and a type of Stockholm Syndrome occurs, but it ends much differently than you might think.
“The robber, JD, becomes Angie’s prisoner…”
Angie’s Cure is not layered to any pushed social injustice agenda. It’s a good story, told well, with acting that works. It’s simple but powerful. The filmmaker does offer many insights into how trauma and its aftereffect play out in society. Some interesting notable observations are placed throughout, including how young men have no father figures and how coming of age is not necessarily a celebrated time but perhaps one where unbreakable cycles continue.
However, a twist in the plot brings a tough and disheartened Angie close to the robber, who was once a boy she liked. Also interesting is how other women often call out mothers like Denyce for their lack of care. But most telling is the police’s handling of the party that led to Angie’s psychological issues. It could have been a different outcome for everyone if there was the slightest bit of care about the community. Unfortunately, her case is treated poorly without regard for truth or understanding. In addition, there’s an undertone about how law enforcement officers treat victims and suspects alike, which plays into the trickle-down serial trauma theme throughout the film.
Corey Grant covers a great deal of ground in Angie’s Cure, though he doesn’t hammer his point in. It is a well-constructed film, and the scenes of Angie and JD are played nicely, considering the path Angie takes to find a cure for her ten years of trauma. The film keeps us engaged and as one edge as its characters.
Angie’s Cure will screen at the 2023 Dances With Films.
"…a well-constructed film..."