"Crooklyn" is a movie that takes place in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970's. It focuses on the Carmichael family: the mother Carolyn Carmichael (played by Alfre Woodard), the father Woody (played by Delroy Lindo), and their five kids. They're not doing too well financially and the parents are constantly fighting. Carolyn is a school teacher and the main provider for the family; she's the one with a level-headed mind keeping everyone together. Woody is a struggling musician. He might not have everything clearly in perspective but I like his optimistic outlook. The nine-year-old middle child Troy is their only daughter of the five children. Troy is the main character and the story is told through her eyes. Something I noticed about the movie is that we see a lot of the characters eating an excessive amount of candy, salt, and sugar. Perhaps there's such a focus on junk food because the story is being told from a child's perspective. It could also be a commentary on people's diets at the time.
"Crooklyn" tells the story of the lives of Troy and her family members. We observe how poor the Carmichaels are, yet they aren't the poorest people on the block. What's interesting is that it seems like everyone is mean-spirited towards each other. For example, there's a scene where one of the local neighborhood boys tells Troy to apologize for insulting him and his mom. I personally like the way the conflicts and disputes keep the plot moving along in an interesting way. It makes the world that the Carmichaels live in more three-dimensional. The conflicts in the external world also act as a good background for the inner tension between the family members.
There is a lot of action and drama in the film. It's filled with many awesome, entertaining scenes like when Aunt Song is looking for her dog Queenie, only to find her pop out of the sofa bed like a pop tart coming out of a toaster. The movie focuses extensively on the family but there are definitely a lot of crazy and colorful side characters as well. There's an annoying neighbor with many smelly and noisy dogs, and a guy who sings soul tunes. We even have the director, Spike Lee, playing a drug addict aptly named Snuffy who likes to sniff glue. I also love this movie's 1970s soundtrack of mostly soul music from different groups like the Five Stairsteps, the Chamber Brothers, the Delfonics, and the Jackson 5. The 1970s soul music provides a realistic background and setting for the times, as well as the conditions in which the characters live. Overall, I liked this film. I enjoyed its setting, feeling and all the wacky characters. Watch this when you have the time.