Imperial Blue Image

Imperial Blue

By Alan Ng | February 7, 2020

Hugo starts by helping Kisakye with her land problem. With the help of Bulu, he saves the life of a local boy and attempts to subvert the pastor’s religious authority by claiming how Bulu has given him “divine” visions. His actions only deepen the conflict between Kisakye, the church, and the village. Soon, Hugo finds himself going deeper and deeper into the mystery of the drug and the drug trade.

Imperial Blue is not your typical drug thriller just from its look and feel. The essential elements are there. The protagonist Hugo, who is trying to find freedom after this last big deal. Then we have the drug lord Spiral Matt, who holds Hugo’s future in his hands, and the unwitting victims of Hugo’s plan, Kisakye and Angela.

What’s different, though, is the action itself. There’s not a lot of gunplay, torture, and double-crosses. What we have is a long greedy American preying upon a small village in Africa. The conflict is in Hugo helping the underdog, while at the same time, desperately needing the drug to find freedom for himself and his family.

“…uses some simple camera tricks to piece Hugo’s visions together effectively.”

Though Hugo doesn’t have a gun, he as Bulu, and it’s his visions from the drug that he uses to chart his next steps and find some answers as well. I like the conflict Hugo goes through wondering if the visions are just a sign of what will happen—the inevitable or a light or beacon to show him to his next step.

As a film, this low-budget indie was filmed in three countries, primarily Uganda. The film feels bigger than it is and employs some practical movie magic to elevates its production values. Cinematographer Ezequiel Romero uses some simple camera tricks to piece Hugo’s visions together effectively. I will say, though, some of the night scenes are a little too dark.

Imperial Blue is a good film, and its story is not your typical drug thriller. In the end, I did want to see some more action to elevate Hugo’s desperation, but director Moss does an excellent job with what he’s given. The church scene near the end is a powerful storytelling moment and shows that it’s the human element of this film with a little sci-fi twist that makes it all worth watching. Ultimately the film’s slow pace and unique storytelling keep Imperial Blue at the level of good as opposed to great.

Imperial Blue (2020)

Directed: Dan Moss

Written: David Cecil, Dan Moss

Starring: Nicolas Fagerberg, Paul Dewdney, Esther Tebandeke, Rehema Nanfuka, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Imperial Blue Image

"…helping the underdog, while...desperately needed the drug to find freedom for himself and his family."

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  1. Rhonnie Nkalubo Abraham says:

    Thank you so much for reviewing something from Uganda. We are glad that the future is us.

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