Wisper Image


By Alan Ng | March 18, 2020

Unwilling to sit around waiting for the police to frame him, Wisper decides to investigate it himself. He believes that this was a planned hit and that he is still a target. Was it the drug dealer that owes him rent and recently thrown out of his restaurant for selling? He then goes on to interview his family, his wife’s family, all leading to potential motives, but no proof as to who did it.

Wisper is a compelling story of crime and innocence, aided by the fact that it’s a true story. We’ve seen this played out before. The lead protagonist is innocent, but investigators wind up spending most of their time going after him rather than the real killer.

Wisper takes advantage of the camera and uses it to interview potential witnesses of the crime, and character witness of both Wisper and his wife. This storytelling device works for the most part. Director Emanuel often has characters acknowledge the camera existence before agreeing to appear or at times refuse to go on record, and the camera points “away.”

“…a compelling story of crime and innocence, aided by the fact that it’s a true story.”

While I liked the story overall, the film’s weakness is acting. It’s not necessarily the actor’s fault, but a lot of it lies in the dialogue for the actors. The dialogue is very basic and to the point. It’s mostly questions and answers with moments of exposition. The dialog mostly moves the narrative along but does very little to offer much insight into the character who says it or for the actors to create a broader character.

Ultimately, we want to connect with and build sympathy for Wisper, but our connection to him comes solely from the tragedy he experienced and his unfair treatment, rather than for his character and the type of person he is. He cheats, he’s a businessman, but we need something more profound about him and the other characters to become emotionally invested in their ultimate fate.

Wisper is an intriguing story based on a true-life crime. Its reality-show take on the investigation offers a different spin on storytelling but unfortunately suffers from bland dialogue and character development. The story is worth watching, but tweaks to the character would have elevated the film’s overall score much higher.

Wisper (2020)

Directed: Russ Emanuel

Written: Howard Nash, Rodney Cavin

Starring: Christian Barber, Naaji Kenn, Lanisha Javon Gholston, Kenishia Green, Laquana Henry, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

Wisper Image

"…its reality-show take on the investigation offers a different spin on storytelling..."

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  1. Royce says:

    Has anyone looked into the two young men that Josiah had beef with. One young man he had to put out of the restaurant the other owed him rent money. It is easy for one of them to have followed him home to jersey and committed the murders. I watched the movie it was ok all the filming was a bit much but was good. Very sorry that this happened to him. Also when he went to the drug store was there a camera showing that he was there and left?

  2. Sid says:

    Why can’t I find the any real information on this family?

  3. Marguerite Gibson says:

    Why can’t we see the real Wisper or pictures of the original home?

  4. Malva Catherine Henderson says:

    Why can’t we see images of the REAL Josiah Wisper?

  5. Kevin McNamara says:

    excellent film!

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