Whatever opinions one may have on rap music, specifically battle rapping, are strongly advised to be left at the door; either way, you’re coming away from Bodied (backed by notable industry talent comprised of producer Eminem, writer Kid Twist, and go-to music video director Joseph Kahn) with an updated perspective. However, the real pleasant surprise is just how overwhelmingly provocative the experience is regarding the current state of political correctness along with the movement’s ability to flip lives upside down in an instant due to the rise of social media, a digital invention that has now become ingrained into almost everyone’s daily routine. At one point a character remarks that a private life no longer exists, a statement made all the more horrifying when you stop for a quick minute considering its validity.
You’re going to need to see Bodied more than once; there’s no way a packed auditorium or anyone at home can refrain from drowning out subsequent lines with their slack-jawed “DAMN!” reactions. Trust me, the ending is a fucking barnburner, approximately 30 minutes of electrifying warring words with a particular sequence acting as the equivalent to dynamite. Best of all, the narrative comes full circle; Bodied is also a classic tale of obsession sending up love for rap battling while forcing us to collectively rethink what is and isn’t offensive. Assuredly, that will immediately turn away some viewers, but it’s their loss, as this is a rare breed of film that is both rapturously entertaining and thematically poignant. It may go down as the single most important film of 2018.
Director: Joseph Kahn | Cast: Calum Worthy, Jackie Long, Rory Uphold | 120 mins
A satire set in the world of competitive battle rap, Bodied is the story of Adam Merkin, a progressive grad student who becomes an accidental battle rapper after encountering Behn Grym, a respected icon in the merciless sub-culture of poetic personal insults. As Adam makes his politically-incorrect climb up the ranks, he risks alienating his father, a renowned writer and tenured professor at Adam’s university, along with his skeptical girlfriend Maya, and all of his academic friends. His success breeds outrage however; Adam soon faces growing backlash on campus and the consequences of his controversial talent. Bodied explores the dangerous spaces of the world’s most multicultural and artistically brutal sport.
Screens: Saturday, May 5 at 7pm*
*Director Joseph Kahn is scheduled to attend
Purchase tickets here.