Akilla’s Escape (2020) Film Review

Showing humanity in a Toronto crime drama.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Writers: Charles Officer, Wendy Motion Brathwaite
Director: Charles Officer
Starring: Saul Williams, Thamela Mpumlwana, Donisha Rita Claire Prendergast

Akilla’s Escape is the story of a man entrenched in Toronto’s drug trade who wants out of his now legal grow-op. We see this aspiration start to disappear when he walks in on a robbery and fights back. When he sees himself in the young robber, he attempts to save him from following the same path he once did.

A moody lens into a menacing world

Moody greens and vibrant pinks usher viewers through this menacing world that Akilla (Saul Williams) is attempting to escape. The ominous soundtrack builds tension as conflict rises in Akilla’s present and past journeys.

Doesn’t rely on heavy hitting action

This crime drama set in Toronto relies on its story rather than heavy hitting action that other films in this genre are used to. I appreciate this focus on story and character and felt that it showed the humanity of what it means to be born into crime. It also spoke to a universal desire to save a younger generation from the mistakes we made and what it means if we’re able to do so—if they’re able to accept guidance.

Shortcomings

The female characters in this film did not have their own character arcs and were more support roles for the male characters.

Akilla’s Escape is a heartbreaking peak into a life fated for crime and what it takes to break free.

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