WASHINGTON, October 11, 2013 — George Tillman Jr.’s highly anticipated new film, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete,” addresses the day-to-day struggles of at-risk children in a self-contained but successful story. Two young minority descent children, one Afro-American the other Korean-American when it comes to survival it is not about race. It is about trusting and creating a family that is there for you.
Skylan Brooks gives an impressive, Oscar-nomination quality performance as Mister, a bright but underachieving Brooklyn teenager living with his heroin-addicted mother, played credibly by Jennifer Hudson. When mom is inevitably arrested for her extracurricular activities, Mister deploys his intellect to keep living in their apartment, evading the eye of social services. At the same time, he looks after another at-risk kid, a young Korean-American boy named Pete, played with aplomb by Ethon Dizon.
Mister is smart, witty and highly imaginative. Yet he failing at school. But after his mom is arrested, he uses his innate social skills to remain in the inter-city digs he calls a home. He and Pete spend their Brooklyn summer collecting food, watching a hamster knock down ketchup bottles, and—at least, for Mister—flirting with Alice, an older girl from school, portrayed in this film by Jordin Sparks.
Besides dealing with the mundane chores of existence, both youngsters have to deal with the issues that at-risk kids face every day: nosy police officers, unexpected burglaries, subsisting on government food stamps, and getting protection from unlikely sources in this case, Mister’s mother’s pimp, deftly played by Anthony Mackie.
Francis Perdue Sr., publicist & talent manager for PS Media Talent recently noted, “Skylan was the best in the movie. He will be the next Will Smith in Hollywood. He is wise, compassionate, and elegant for his age on the big screen ”
For an example of what Perdue is talking about, check out this film’s official trailer:
Skylan Brooks is the unexpected breakout star. He carries the movie and will have you cheering for him to succeed. For those who live in or earn their livelihoods in America’s inner cities, Mister’s mundane yet harrowing story is altogether too familiar. It’s all about a young man with considerable talent, but without the proper guidance and discipline he needs to get himself to the top.
Without a strong father, Deprived of his mother, and without a strong father or father figure, we watch Mister negotiating a complex and predatory environment on his own, praying against the demons of destruction that could spell defeat and disaster.
Tillman’s film is powerful, sympathetic essay on humanity under extreme pressure, drawing us into the lives of Mister and Pete hoping against hope for their eventual success against formidable odds.
As we watch the film unfold, we learn that the title character’s name was given to to him in order to somehow ensure he would be treated with at least a modicum of respect. Not surprisingly, this excellent film, well written and well acted, has easily earned this reviewer’s respect and would do so even under a different title.
“Mister & Pete” is now playing at most area cinemas, and it’s well worth the ticket price. For more on the film, check out the Facebook entry #MisterAndPete. We’re certain you will enjoy this Urban Game Changing movie.
Rating: *** 1/2 (Three and one-half stars)
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