The Process Image

The Process

By Bradley Gibson | April 15, 2022

In his debut feature, director-writer Jake Fay delivers The Process, which follows a young man in a Boston suburb with dreams of being a rap star. Sindile (Jason Gervacio) wishes to move beyond the blue-collar trappings of his grimy hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts, and achieve recognition, fame, and fortune in the world of rap performance. To that end, Sindile teams up with his best friends Winston (Adam Lawn) and Brian (Marvin St-Jean) to try and achieve his goals.

Their primary issue is financing their dream. Winston makes money in his entry-level job as an electrician’s assistant, but the other two aren’t generating income. Sindile decides to sell drugs on the side to help fund his ambitions but has major setbacks when he is jumped on the street, and tragedy dramatically cuts his side-hustle short.

During a recording session in Boston, Sindile, Winston, and Brian hear about a contest that awards an opening spot for famous rapper Nas. Sindile seizes upon this contest as his first big move and sets his mind on winning. His ambition and frustration drive him to push himself and his friends to extremes as he strives toward what may be, as it turns out, an impractical vision of how to find success. As Sindile learns from facing repeated challenges on his hopeful road to stardom, there’s a great deal of work needed to achieve such goals, and he has a lot of growing up to do. He begins to see that there’s a structured series of tiers for him to take on and that it has as much to do with learning about life as it does the industry. Sindile also begins to see the value in his hometown, family, and friends as part of maturing into more realistic expectations.

“…to move beyond…his grimy hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts, and achieve recognition, fame, and fortune in the world of rap performance.”

The Process reflects the classic trope of ambition to rise from rags to riches. Specific to rap, the film is reminiscent of Eminem’s semi-autobiographical 8 Mile, or Straight Outta Compton. Speaking more generally and going even farther back, the dreams of shaking off working-class life for stardom have been told in the likes of Flashdance. These are uniquely urban American ambitions, and the story takes on a different flavor for each generation and each city as it comes around.

Gervacio, Lawn, and St-Jean portray the three friends with heart and tremendous energy. Their band-of-brothers relationship is the engine that solidly grounds the heart and soul of the film, making for a great experience. Handheld camera work and ambient lighting, combined with naturalistic performances, give the film a gritty, authentic vérité vibe that works. In addition, the urban soundtrack features rap in a hip-hop vein, with performances that rise from the street like steam.

Jake Fay has previously worked in television and film as a writer, director of photography, and before that, as part of the crew of various productions. His experience shines through, despite this being his first feature. As a result, he is able to give The Process a professional polish and appeal that many debut indie films lack.

The Process (2022)

Directed and Written: Jake Fay

Starring: Jason Gervacio, Adam Lawn, Marvin St-Jean, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Process Image

"…[has] a professional polish and appeal that many debut indie films lack."

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