By Will Barber Taylor
Wale is the story of an 18-year-old mobile mechanic, who learned his trade whilst serving time in Aylesbury, the young offender’s institution. Now he’s out, living with his mum and trying to get his business going. But enterprise isn’t easy when you’re a young black male, with a criminal past.
The life of young black men in Britain is often under represented in the media. Traditionally, the experiences and hardships of black men in Britain is not fully explored properly, with depictions of black men often being seen as stereotypical and not reflecting accurately the experiences of real people in modern Britain.
Therefore, a film like Wale is vitally important for properly expressing the experience of young black men in modern Britain. Rather than simply dwelling on stereotypes, Wales feels as if it could be a documentary recounting life in Britain today. This is why Wale is such an important film to watch – it is reality presented in a dramatic and honest way.
Raphel Famotibe gives an excellent performance as Wale. Famotibe brings a real energy and presence to his performance as the central character and demonstrates conflict excellently throughout the film. Wrestling with whether he should give up on his reformed path or try to stick out his life on the straight and narrow ensures that Famotibe’s performance has real substance to it and he plays with what he’s given excellently.
Wale, like I, Daniel Blake demonstrates the real horrors that can be felt in Britain today and how prejudice can ensure that individuals can be held back from reaching their full potential. This is why Wale is such an important film and one I highly recommend you watch.