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‘Patti Cake$’ plays no games

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foxsearchlight.com

Alyssa Cancio

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At first glance, “Patti Cake$” seems like another “8-Mile,” when in fact it presents its own unique drama, characters and visuals, paving the way for struggling artists showing how music heals wounds.

Set in Bergen County, New Jersey, “Patti Cake$” is a heartwarming, tense and realistic coming-of-age movie about Patricia Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald), a female rapper struggling to follow her dreams. Moreover, she really just wants to be accepted and appreciated, from both her mother Barb (Bridget Everett) and her rap idol O-Z (Sahr Ngaujah).

Along her journey, Patti is supported by her best friend Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), sick grandmother Nana (Cathy Moriarty) and mysterious rocker Bastard The Antichrist (Mamoudou Athie). Patti experiences love, reconciliation and truth throughout the way.

Hardships are inevitable: “You’re just a culture vulture,” rapper O-Z scoffs when Patti shows him her demo CD. Nevertheless, good things come to those who wait and Patti surely earns what she deserves in the end.    

The film is grand in storytelling and directing, but its message and casting are outstanding. Patti is unlike the image of your usual modern day rapper. She’s white, female and overweight, which  she is constantly shamed for. However, her talent shines a message about the insignificance of appearance and the importance of hard work, dedication and genuine friendship. Patti is also a symbol of the recent rebranding of the female rap game with her inner strength, down-to-earth personality and phenomenal rhymes.

It seems that from the beginning, female rappers haven’t had their full share of the limelight with their male counterparts. “Patti Cake$” puts them back in that spotlight with a story resembling that of female founders like Missy Elliot, Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj.

“Patti Cake$” is a must-see for a music lover. It’s uplifting, introduces memorable characters, presents strong acting and sports fresh tunes. The movie is rated R for language and is out in select theaters now.

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‘Patti Cake$’ plays no games