Danielle Macdonald, Cathy Moriarty, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Patti Cake$ hits all the right beats.
Aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowksi a.k.a. Killa P. a.k.a. Patti Cake$ (Danielle Macdonald) leads an ordinary life in her rundown hometown in New Jersey, and though dreaming of big city lights, is tortured by unpaid bills, broken dreams and an army of haters that are determined to bring her down. Alongside her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), who is one of the few that recognises her true potential, her Nana (Cathy Moriarty) and an enigmatic musician by the name of Basterd the AntiChrist (Mamoudou Athie), they venture out to find her voice, stumbling over new obstacles along the way, but leading to a truly satisfying redemption arc.
Geremy Jasper, VMA-nominated director behind Florence and the Machine and Selena Gomez music videos, has made an ambitious and hard-hitting film inspired by his own personal experiences growing up in New Jersey, mixed with his lifelong obsession with rap music and the music scene in general.
Drawing on his experiences within the music industry, he is able to contrast the life of the musician, to the individual behind them. The juxtaposition of Patti Cake$’s imaginary life to that of Patricia Dombrowsky, a 23-year-old bartender struggling to support her family, provides insight to the fact that fame comes at a price.
Reminiscent of the narratives explored in 8 Mile and Straight Outta Compton, Patti Cake$ also works in some subtle and cheeky sense of humour in amongst the grit. With its strong leading lady, a soundtrack written exclusively for the film, and a talented and diverse cast, Patti Cake$ hits all the right beats.