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Review |  16 Jun 2017 20:09 |  By Kavita Yadav

All Eyez On Me: An average movie on underground sensation, Tupac Shakur

MUMBAI: Post-Barack Obama, the US of A is a different country, and the world seems to be holding its head in despair at Mr Donald Trump’s antics as president. Cut to the US, post the Civil Rights movement in the sixties and seventies, and the plight of African American was also pretty eye-popping with the disparity between the haves and have nots being pretty evident. And in this era of coming-out-of-basic-subsistence-towards-living-a-life was born Tupac Shakur.

But, he wasn't just another "coloured man” or the rude epithet hurled at people of his colour- “a nigger.”

Tupac Shakur went on to become one of the biggest names in the then underground hip-hop movement, but his reign was cut short with his death after being gunned down in Las Vegas on 13 September 1996.

The world knows him through his music, and, his untimely death left scope for the cinematic genius to fill the canvas with the right strokes.

Music video veteran Benny Boom's 'All Eyez On Me' attempts at painting the Tupac Shakur canvas, but does it do justice?

The easiest way of telling a story is taking it straight from a book and capturing it scene-by-scene and unfortunately Benny Boom's 'All Eyez On Me' makes the same mistake. A story of a rapper who has a lot happening beyond music and movies should have gone through this usual roll-action-cut formula.

The movie starts with a reporter interviewing Tupac during one of his jail terms and then moves in flashback as the rapper narrates his story. Now, that's an old school approach during the sci-fi movie times. We understand that it's a real life story, but the narration could have been better.

'All Eyez On You' gives you a glimpse of Tupac's family background and his mother, Afeni Shakur and stepfather Mutulu's involvement in the Black Panther Party -- it was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. Also, how these ideologies played an extremely important part in making Tupac the man he became.

The narrative gradually takes you through the struggles he faced emotionally as a youngster and his breakthrough as a solo artiste. But, with success came along his court cases and his association with Death Row Records. This also marks the entry of Marion 'Suge' Knight, the owner of Death Rows and probably the death god in Tupac's case creatively.

The story also takes you through his relationship with his family and his extravagant lifestyle, his friendship with Jada Pinkett (Smith) and last love Kidada Jones. But, none of these characters have been established in the story.

The parts that seem to have done justice in the movie are the issues that the black community faced in the US back in the eighties and nineties.

His friendship and enmity with Biggie or The Notorious B.I.G. too do not come across clearly in the film. Neither is Tupac's character. The film does not show him in a good or bad light. It's a simple narration with the judgments left in the hands of the viewers.

Actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. does justice to his part, but the movie fails to do justice to this global icon. If you're not too much of a reader you can walk to the theaters to watch 'All Eyez On You', while the others can just read through his Wikipedia page. There are no unknown facts being revealed here and for the Indian audiences be ready for the beeps in between the courses. Yes, it's censored!