The long awaited motion picture, starring Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, entitled Get Rich or Die Trying, hit films yesterday, November 9. The film, written by Terry Winters (Showtimes Sopranos) and directed by six-time Oscar nominee, Jim Sheridan, is a modern day Goodfellas. It chronicles the life of an orphaned street kid, Marcus (Jackson), his ascension as a popular drug dealer, and his destiny to become a superstar. With an all-star cast, including Terrence Howard (Crash, Hustle & Flow), Joy Bryant (Antwan Fisher, Honey), Bill Duke (Hoodlum, Deep Cover), Leon (Five Heartbeats) and Omar Benson Miller, the film supercedes critic expectations, and easily overshadows the likes of films such as 8 Mile, starring Jackson’s label-mate, Marshall Eminem Mathers and other urban street tales.
While the lines of fact and fiction are blurry throughout the film, much of the storyline evolved from Jacksons personal life experiences. After the death of his mother, facing the dangers of the drug trade, and being shot 9 times, Jackson finally succumbed to his destiny. 50 Cent emerged onto the rap scene in 2002, with his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin. The album sold 2.1 million copies in the first three weeks of its release, and went on to be certified six times platinum. Several singles topped the charts, including In the Club, Many Men (Wish Death), and 21 Questions, – thus began the rebirth of gangster rap. Jackson followed up with The Massacre, in 2005, which has sold 4 million units to date, making him the first artist to have four songs in the top ten of Billboards Hot 100 since 1964. Can one think of a better embodiment of star power? Add to it the fact that Jackson, despite his gangster persona, exudes confidence, hilarity and charm Its no wonder everyone is trying to get a piece of him. Seems he has got the Midas touch.
While many try to write the film off as just another gangster movie, whats there is so much more. Its a story about drive, ambition and hope-the strength of a young man faced with insuperable odds, who manages to come out on top. Unfortunately, this is the protocol of the urban experience for far too many young black males. The structure is gritty, while touching on such topics as trust, the family dynamic, and morality. Not to mention, the acting isnt half bad either. To much surprise, Jackson did a phenomenal job on the film. It cant be an easy task to reenact some of the most painful moments in your life. How can you not respect it? Jacksons empire has proved its fortitude, and will grow larger in years to come, if he stays on this track. For those who havent seen the prophetic film, get your tickets early, as its destined to be sold out from state to state; don’t forget to cop the soundtrack, which also promises not to disappoint. – By: Fawn Renee