Premature, written by Zora Howard and Rashaad Ernesto Green, is an incredible coming of age film. Seventeen-year-old “Ayanna” (Zora Howard) is a poet from Harlem with big plans to go to a fancy school in the fall. After unexpectedly falling in love with “Isiah” (Joshua Boone), Ayanna is forced to grow up fast as adulthood comes rushing in. (CPG 5/5)
Review by Associate Carlotta Plys-Garzotto
Premature is a slice of life. Ayanna’s life, to be exact. The first scene of the movie throws the viewer right into Ayanna’s world. She’s on the NYC subway with her friends, quick banter and laughter exploding out of them. The overlapping dialogue creates an atmosphere of reality that remains throughout the film. I was completely immersed from start to finish and believed every second.
The characters in Premature are extremely fleshed out, even without extensive dialogue. The film plays off of the fact that Ayanna and Isiah are both artists in their own right. The use of music and poetry — showing a lot without necessarily telling the audience everything. For instance, without explicitly going into it, the film shows Ayanna’s not-so-great background with men and how she feels about them right off the bat.
The romance between Ayanna and Isiah is realistic, starting out sweet and cute, with Ayanna’s guard up. Howard does not hesitate to show the couple deal with problems as their relationship deepens and Ayanna’s walls come down.
While there may not be many intricate plot points in Premature, it is never boring. The film
thrives off of emotion and connection, and that’s all it needs. It is not overdone or overdramatic–it is perfectly balancing on the equilibrium of realistic and entertaining throughout.
Showing both the beauty, the struggle, and the beauty of the struggle, Premature is an incredible piece of work exploring young adult life. The film also tackles race issues that are not always openly talked about, Howard addresses many serious issues in the discussions between Ayanna and her friends. This makes the film special in its honesty, dealing with real everyday problems.
I could not recommend Premature more. It is smart, breathtaking, and full of deep love. You can tell by watching that the creators of this film care deeply about this film. The characters are deep and real–you will find yourself invested in their stories almost immediately. Premature reaches out and grabs you and does not let go until the film is over.
© Carlotta Plys-Garzotto FF2 Media (2/25/2020)
Does Premature pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?