By Will Barber Taylor
AJ Green, a new kid in town, shows up at the high school boys basketball varsity tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Coach takes notice, and so do the other players, some of whom feel threatened by the new blood. The school’s team is excellent— second best in the state—and this is the year Coach plans to win it all. AJ proves himself on the court and clearly has talent, heart, and drive… as well as a big secret. Will AJ make the team once the players and coach discover the truth?
Set in a High School, Game could fall into many of the pre-existing stereotypes about school and American High Schools in particular. However, Game is different from stereotypical High School dramas. Focussing on AJ Green (Nicole Williams in his film debut), a new kid attempting to fit in to his local basketball team, the film deals with broad concepts such as fitting in, growing up and accepting one another in a very unique and specific way. By focussing on the close bond of a Basketball team and the rivalries naturally occurring out of such a group, director Jeannie Donohoe allows us to fully enjoy the sophistication of the film’s message.
The cinematography in the film is excellent, allowing us to fully enjoy the drama of it and turning what otherwise could have been mundane and boring events into something that has true dramatic flare and presence.
Game is an excellent coming of age story that embraces differences and the unifying appeal of sport. With fantastic direction by Jeannie Donohoe, great performances by Nicole Williams, Rich Fox as the Coach and Dominique Columbus as Theo and a heart felt story, it is a short film that I cannot recommend higher.