June 23, 2024

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Series: Review of “I’m a Virgo” by Boots Riley (Amazon Prime Video)

Series: Review of “I’m a Virgo” by Boots Riley (Amazon Prime Video)

a favour rap singer Oakland gang the cupBoots Riley has only recently begun to tackle film directing as an adult, a task he’s only experimented with making videos for his political hip-hop troupe. This playful and inventive spirit, typical of the segments, was maintained in his debut Sorry to bother you, along with its hardcore content. Riley, 52, not only considers himself left-wing and progressive, but also identifies himself as a communist, which in the US sounds almost suicidal, at least in “industrial” terms. And I’m Virgo, his new, powerful, and very strange series—his first work since the 2018 film—continues on the same trajectory. It’s a surreal and, yes, action comedy that creates a fantastic universe of superhero saga to tell the story of a group of young black men who fundamentally want an end to capitalism.

Having all of this under the Amazon umbrella seems a little strange at first. But Reilly himself would certainly say that it is part of the contradictions or false openings of capitalism, that it shows a formal change but in the end it means nothing. I’m VirgoAt first, it seems so far removed from all that. The story begins as the story of a giant, sort of Gulliver in Oakland, a boy who was born huge and was hidden from the rest of the world by his parents (Carmen Ejogo and Mike Epps) throughout his childhood and adolescence. Cootie (Jharrel Jerome) grows to be four feet tall and they even have to build a house specifically for her behind the garden, covering everything so no one can see.

But, of course, Cootie turns into a bored teenager who does nothing but eat, watch TV, read superhero comics, and stare at his cell phone (which looks tiny in his hands). He’s a conceptually intelligent guy – perhaps because he’s watched the “Parking Tickets” animated series for years, in which the texts of poets and philosophers are combined with absurd, vulgar humor – but his lack of experience with the rest of the world turns him into an apparent idiot. Discovered by someone by chance, Cootie goes out into the street and at first transforms into a cute creature, which the neighborhood residents look on with curiosity but without fear.

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In fact, he makes a group of friends with whom he goes out at night – the extremely politicized Felix, Scott and Jones, with whom he travels in a convertible, and himself sits on top of the trunk – and with them he discovers music, parties and contact with people. Especially with Flora (Olivia Washington), the girl who runs a hamburger restaurant he’s always dreamed of going since his incarceration, and with whom he forges a rare affinity. At the same time, there are clients who want to make money with him and even a strange sect that considers him a prophet or savior.

But little by little, things will start to change. The superhero that Cootie worships from the comics exists in the real world (called The Hero, has no real powers but money and technology in the best Bruce Wayne/Batman style, fully embodied by the great Walton Goggins), but soon a man comes to see him as an enemy. The media quickly picked up on this and turned the boy into a fearsome villain even though he didn’t do anything. And let’s face it, white city dwellers have little problem turning a hulking young black man into a would-be criminal. However, he didn’t seem too concerned about it. He seems happy to be a part of the world and discover something like love.

Until, at some point, some personal misfortunes and other close revelations–it will turn out that he’s not the only one with special “powers”–will lead him to a realization of the injustices and inequalities of the world around him: poverty, unemployment, people driven from their homes for not being able to pay Rent and what is now known as “systemic racism”, especially from an incident involving one of their friends. Having parents who had previous political activism, Cootie begins to think that maybe she can do something to change things.

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Yes good I’m Virgo It begins, roughly, as a series that seems more childish/teenage and surreal than anything else, the emotional intensity being added little by little to the initial absurdity, a bit in a way BoJack Horseman. One would waste time looking at how to resolve differences in size visually (the suggestion is indie in different ways, so don’t expect state-of-the-art special effects but rather practical decisions in the style of, say, Michel Gondry cinema) and other properties of the world created by Reilly, but halfway through the season the series will take a turn that will start with the character – one of these inciting grievances People – and he will become militarily straight.

Riley is not a very accurate writer. He prefers to point his guns directly, especially through the character Jones, who uses a metaphor if you will (a kind of force of his own, you’ll see what that is) to express the series’ more explicitly ideological content. in the second half, I’m Virgo will become a copy indie and African Americans boys, in which a group of supposed “villains” have to find a way to deal with supposed “heroes” who are controlled by a somewhat fascist corporation. That it all comes from the bowels of Amazon — both series produced by that company — is a topic Riley must tackle in the upcoming season of his weird and wonderful series.