“Tyrel” In Opening in Los Angeles December 14th
TYREL follows Tyler, who joins his friend on a trip to the Catskills for a weekend birthday party with several people he doesn’t know. As soon as they get there, it’s clear that (1) he’s the only black guy, and (2) it’s going to be a weekend of heavy drinking. Although Tyler is welcomed, he can’t help but feel uneasy in “Whitesville.” The combination of all the testosterone and alcohol starts to get out of hand, and Tyler’s precarious situation starts to feel like a nightmare.
Tyler(Jason Mitchell) is placed in a situation that most of us would dread. He is among a group of men who are either completely unaware of their ignorance of other’s cultural norms or are a true product of underlying bigotry and assumptions about race. The film starts with Tyler and his friend pushing their stalled car along the road John (Christopher Abbott), is the white and Tyler, (Mudbound‘s Jason Mitchell), is black. The friends are venting about life with Tyler complaining about his family.
John is glad to have Tyler get away from all the shit going on and hang out with him and some friends in the Catskills. So when the group of friends shows up who are all white we get a sense of foreboding of things to come.
When they arrive at the lodge the drinking begins and remarks are made that makes Tyler feel a little put-off.
As the men start shooting the breeze and drinking the first indication of uncomfortably begins with the phrase game. A hat is passed around with a phrase and the accent that it must be read in. Tyler pulls his and nails the British accent. All the guys are impressed but the next guy pulls his phrase and the men are confused jokingly asking him if he is doing himself. He replies its a black accent. The look on Tyler’s face says it all.
One’s color and cultural norms define us in all parts of our lives and our relationship with others. How much of our misunderstanding is ignorance or the fact that race for many can be a communication barrier? Do we ask ourselves would this be the same film if Tyler’s character was white and the guys all black. No matter because in my opinion, this film is about one being comfortable in their skin no matter where you are. In “Tyrel” the audience is pulled into the unraveling of Tyler and it’s not an easy ride.
“I wanted Tyrel to be the movie that speaks for the middle-class black guy,” he says, “the black guy that wasn’t a thug. The black guy that’s like most of the black guys out there these days. There are a lot of black guys that are trying to be successful and do things in their lives, but they get in the situations that are awkward for them that they don’t know how to handle.”
The suspense-drama TYREL is written and directed by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva (THE MAID, NASTY BABY). The film stars Jason Mitchell (MUDBOUND), Christopher Abbott (JAMES WHITE), Michael Cera (JUNO, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Michael Zegen (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).
Writer and director: Sebastián Silva
Producers: Gigi Graff, Jacob Wasserman, and Carlos Zozoya
Cinematographer: Alexis Zabe