We all have that friend or relative who is obsessed with the currently state of politics right? You know the one who watches CNN non-stop and has commentary on every detail dropped every waking moment of the day. Whether it’s Brexit, Immigration or something like the mid-term elections looming around the corner, the anxiety over what our future on this planet will become is proving to be more and more uncertain. How about that parent who is highly offended when you ask them to turn the television volume down because it literally could make your ears bleed. Or how the social media platform giant Twitter is literally being cited as a news source amongst seasoned journalists, influencers and millennials worldwide.
Enter Director/Writer/Actor Ike Barinholtz and ‘The Oath.’ It is frightening how close to home this satirical social commentary style sucker punches the audience to its core.
Taking place during Thanksgiving and with five days left to sign ‘The Oath’ Chris (Ike Barinholtz) and Kai (Tiffany Haddish) prepare for the typical Turkey feast with Mom (Nora Dunn), Dad (Chris Ellis), Brother Peter (Jon Barinholtz)and his latest girlfriend. Abbie (Meredith Hagner). When some unexpected visitors arrive, this warm, fuzzy holiday turns into a nightmare of epic proportions that one won’t recover from anytime soon.
I’m not gonna lie, with such film and television comedic heavy weights as Haddish, Dunn, Cho and the Barinholtz brothers, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall tone, message and attention to detail within this film. Let me also say that audiences will be hella surprised at the acting range displayed by Tiffany Haddish. This Emmy winner is definitely ready showing her Black Girl Magic extends beyond fabulous comedy chops.
Usually we only get doses of these types of social conscience films once a year (ie., Moonlight, Get Out). In 2018, we have Sorry To Bother You, Blindspotting, BlacKkKlansman, Monsters and Men , The Hate U Give and Barry Jenkins’ take on James Baldwin’s controversial If Beale Street Could Talk. The Oath is timely and relevant because it points a big “fat ass patriot” finger at how politics can confuse and divide families and friends. At the end of the day, we can all have our core beliefs, but as Barinholtz says in the film we shouldn’t let the absurdity and hateful climate of our world ‘change us.’
All the jokes, all the political digs and all the symbolism down to an interracial couple sitting down and eating a slice of apple pie (a symbolism or quintessential Americana) at the end of such a tumultuous, emotionally charged experience resonated with me way beyond the rolling of the credits.
Do yourselves a favor and hit a theatre new you with a group of friends or family to keep the conversation going. Produced by Roadside Attractions,The Oath hits theatres on October 12th.