The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Curzon Home Cinema] - WHITE COLOUR BLACK | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Curzon Home Cinema] - WHITE COLOUR BLACK

white colour black review
A London photographer travels to Senegal for his father's funeral.

Review by Benjamin Poole

Directed by: Joseph A. Adesunloye

Starring: Dudley O'Shaughnessy, Wale Ojo, Alassane Sy, Lily Dodsworth-Evans, Yrsa Daley-Ward

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Some of us grow up naturally, and some of us have grown-upness thrust upon us. Of course, a few of us never grow up at all! If left to his own devices, this would have probably been the case for Leke (Dudley O'Shaughnessy - amazing name, amazing face) the protagonist of Joseph A. Adesunloye’s White Colour Black, who has inconveniently found himself in the ‘thrust upon’ camp owing to the timely death of his father.

white colour black review

The word protagonist (i.e., one who ‘drives the story forward by pursuing a goal’) is used loosely here, as Leke does precious little to develop his story or circumstances. Why would he? He’s a good looking and successful young photographer in swinging London, his days spent conspiring with camply sinister gallery owners, his evenings devoted to sharing his expensive drugs with similarly attractive people before shagging them. Brilliant! But his bloody dad had to go and spoil it all by kicking the bucket over in Senegal, which means that Leke has to leave behind the easy access to coke and beautiful women in London for equally easy access to proper weed and beautiful foreign women in Dakar, and, perhaps, attend his father’s funeral.

Maybe see it as a holiday Leke. After an energetic foursome with some girls whom you met in a club, and then having it off with your own photographic model, you deserve a bit of a break. When in West Africa though, priapic Leke cannot help himself, and, despite initially turning down the offer of his driver’s joint after touch-down in Senegal, he is soon up to his old ways. He hooks up with an old flame (Badewa, played by Yrsa Daley-Ward) and the visual carousel of sex continues. How old a flame is Badewa , one wonders, as Leke has a thoroughbred London accent, and is only in his twenties...? It’s anyone’s guess because Badewa, like every woman in the film, is given no character expansion, and just exists to fall, like a pied pot-piped kid, under the spell of pretty vacant Leke.

white colour black review

The sex is plentiful and filmed with an aspirational sheen which renders it glossy but a bit dull. The pretty carnality is broken up a bit when Leke has a wank, and with occasional sequences wherein Leke photographs bits and bobs of Senegal.

White Colour Black is not so much a movie, but just things being vaguely filmed and arranged in a, for the main part, linear sequence. We do get these idyllic flashbacks of Leke with his dad in the past, doing the most scenic of father and son pursuits: riding horses, going to the beach, etc. Seems like a decent fella so there is no real idea of why Leke is such a fusspot about going to his funeral.

white colour black review

Will Leke end up going to his ostler dad’s burial? Who cares? Least of all Leke. The impact of White Colour Black relies on a tacit, kneejerk sensibility implying that if you like drugs and enjoy sex with multiple consenting partners you are somehow morally lacking. This message is slightly undermined though, as, with much of its running time devoted to comely people engaged in coition, the film has its cock and eats it too. The people of Senegal are portrayed as down to earth, decent and good family folk who Leke could stand to learn a lot from, as if an immigrant to a foreign country establishing himself as a world beating photographic talent makes him some sort of fainéant. It all seems a little reductive, almost juvenile at times. Perhaps White Colour Black itself needs to grow up.

White Colour Black is on Curzon Home Cinema from February 19th.

2021 movie reviews