Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What's On Netflix?: THE GET DOWN

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we review hidden gems and wonderful pieces of filmmaking on Netflix. This week we take a look at another brilliant and dazzling installment in Baz Luhrmann's career, a director known for his brilliant set and costume design. The series that just recently exploded onto Netflix...THE GET DOWN.

The Get Down is a Netflix original series set in The Bronx during the 1970's. The series revolves around the main character Ezekiel, a young man who is obsessed with the art form of hip hop and rap or what the series refers to as being a "wordsmith." Ezekiel is looking for love in a church singer with dreams of being a disco star named Mylene Cruz. The two's love is thwarted by Mylene believing she can leave The Bronx and have a career in disco, and she believe's that Ezekiel has no future with his rapping. The series revolves mainly around Ezekiel trying to win the love of Mylene. Ezekiel believes that rapping is his only future and he will do what he can to make it a reality. After being tugged and yanked around by the adults in his life, he teams up with the upcoming DJ apprentice known as Shaolin Fantastic. A young man mentoring under the very popular DJ in the Bronx; Grandmaster Flash. After attending a party, Shaolin Fantastic, Ezekiel and their crew, known as "The Get Down Brothers", must rap battle another crew in order to win the respect of the city and the scene of hip hop.

The Get Down is very original which is nothing less than what we would expect from Baz Luhrmann. With a year of adaptions and remakes flooding the media, it is very refreshing to see many new things this year like The Get Down. The first note to appreciate is that the writing is incredible. It's very difficult to write hip hop, and hip hop scenes, but the series seems to have a flow and a wonderful feel of vibes from start to finish just like a hip hop song. The writing fits perfectly to the feeling and vibes that the show brings.

Another exquisite trait that the series brings to the table is the performances. Since the only notable actor is Shameik Moore (Dope) who plays the role of Shaolin Fantastic, the rest of the actors are up-and-coming or new to the screen. Despite all of the actors being newer, they are all very talented. Every performance is believable, and the emotion that is shared between Ezekiel and Mylene is absolutely wonderful and astounding.

As far as other design elements go, The Get Down is pretty straight forward. The cinematography is very simple, and despite the usual extravaganza that Baz Luhrmann brings to the table, the design is very straight forward. Costume and set choices are brilliant and just flour with raging 70's energy. And not to mention the soundtrack, a plethora and glorious concoction of hyper involved disco tunes and flow heavy, word heavy, hip hop songs.

The Get Down is another piece of living proof that Netflix is becoming a ridiculously incredible source of outlet and distribution for filmmakers working on making their dreams come true. The series has a very strong story with a very strong finish. The characters and acting is absolutely incredible, and the soundtrack, costume, and set design are just the icing on top of what is already a wonderful piece of filmmaking.

Joshua's Score: 10/10


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