Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Deon Cole, Nicki Minaj, Regina Hall and Eve Join 'Barbershop 3' Cast Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show Taraji P Henson Thanks UK Fans for Illegally Streaming 'Empire' Which Led to Its Pickup + UK Reactions to the Show A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood A New Film Studio Grows in Uganda - Wakaliwood You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' You Will Be Moved By the Atmospheric First Full Trailer for 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Wendell Pierce Will Play Clarence Thomas Opposite Kerry Washington's Anita Hill in HBO's 'Confirmation,' Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Jordan Davis Documentary Gets New Title, New Poster 2 New Clips + Theatrical Release Dates Set Jordan Davis Documentary Gets New Title, New Poster 2 New Clips + Theatrical Release Dates Set Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Crowdfund This: Feature Film, 'The Last Black Man in San Francisco' Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles Interview: Black Masculinity in Comic Books with Jonathan Gayles Viola Davis Is Developing a Harriet Tubman Biopic for HBO (She Will Star & Produce) Viola Davis Is Developing a Harriet Tubman Biopic for HBO (She Will Star & Produce) Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Indie Box Office: How Did the Queen Latifah Exec Produced Indie Drama 'Brotherly Love' Do? Watch Queen Latifah & Mo'Nique "Preach the Blues" is 4 Clips from 'Bessie' Watch Queen Latifah & Mo'Nique "Preach the Blues" is 4 Clips from 'Bessie' Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton Watch 'Deadpan' - an Early Short Work by Steve McQueen Inspired by Buster Keaton Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Opens Today Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Opens Today 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

PAFF 2013 Review: Charles Murray's Spoken Word Love Story 'Things Never Said'

Shadow and Act By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act February 18, 2013 at 4:42PM

In his feature directorial debut, longtime television writer/EP Charles Murray takes a turn from TV action-drama to deliver a decidedly black love story reminiscent of the late '90s heyday of the genre.
4
Shanola Hampton and Omari Hardwick in 'Things Never Said'
Shanola Hampton and Omari Hardwick in 'Things Never Said'

In his feature directorial debut, longtime television writer/EP Charles Murray takes a turn from TV action-drama to deliver a decidedly black love story reminiscent of the late '90s heyday of the genre.

Things Never Said centers on Kal (Shanola Hampton), an aspiring spoken word artist using poetry to escape the pain of a miscarriage and an abusive husband (Elimu Nelson). As an LA native, she dreams of performing at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café in New York. When Kal falls for Curtis (Omari Hardwick), a poetry fan with a whole heap of emotional baggage of his own, the two must decide if they have an affair worth preserving.

You could call it a grown-up love story, which points to the complexities of all relationships. Nobody gets off easy - Kal’s best friend Daphne (Tamala Jones) also has a rocky relationship with her boyfriend Steve (Dorian Missick), and the two women dither between supporting each other and judging each other’s choices. Likewise, the flawed marriage of Kal’s parents (Charlayne Woodard, Tom Wright) is cited as the spark for the pattern of abuse in Kal’s life.

Dealing with heavy topics like adultery and abuse that can easily drift into melodrama, Murray ultimately reins it in and makes this a story about the beauty of black love – literally and figuratively. The well-shot film (lensed by Beats, Rhymes & Life DP Robert Benavides and Ryan Hase) offers plenty of artful scenes of black bodies embracing and revels in the beauty of its two leads. Omari Hardwick is quickly becoming the go-to leading man for movies like this, and here he doesn’t disappoint as the tough guy with a sensitive core.

With its focus on spoken word and romance, as Tambay has mentioned, comparisons to Love Jones are inevitable, and I wonder if maybe that’s the point. Audiences have long complained about the lack of black love stories since they faded from prominence over a decade ago. And Things Never Said hits all the familiar ticks of the genre – good-looking couple, healthy dose of drama, grown-and-sexy soundtrack. Murray delivers a technically tight screenplay, infused with a bit of his trademark wit, and poetic in its own right (apparently he wrote Kalindra's spoken word pieces himself.) The film feels a little more polished and predictable, a little less raw and real, than Theodore Witcher’s 1997 film felt at times, but it nevertheless scratches an itch that has been felt by moviegoers for some time.

In the end, Things Never Said is a good-looking film that knows whom it’s trying to please. Now that Murray has made his foray into the genre, we'll be interested to see what comes next.

Things Never Said has its final screening at the Pan African Film Festival tonight in Los Angeles. Find details HERE.


Shadow & ActNewsletter