Reviewed by Joanne Lewis: Shot on location in the Bronx, NY, “Angelfish” is a coming-of-age love story between Eva (Frasqueri), a young Puerto Rican woman torn between her responsibilities to her family and her dreams, and Brendan (Jimi Stanton, the upcoming “Greyhound”), an Irish-American man dealing with family problems of his own.
It’s hard enough when you are young to figure out your life but it becomes more complicated when the weight of family responsibilities rests on your shoulders. Brendan(Jimi Stanton) works at a deli to help out his single Mom who seems more concerned with hanging out in bars drinking and changing boyfriends; leaving Brendan to take care of his troubled teenaged brother. Eva (Destiny Frasqueri) has dreams of becoming an actress while her Mother envisions her going to college. Adding to the pressure is her devotion to taking care of her disabled brother. So much of our lives tend to be dictated by others and when we attract partners who may not fit in perfect little boxes as our families our society expects, our choices can be difficult.
It’s wonderful to watch the chemistry between these two actors as we are immersed in their budding romance. Jimi Stanton brings understated strength to his role with just the right amount of vulnerability and charm while Destiny explodes with such authenticity as Eva. Her movements and nuances are raw and genuine.
Director Peter Lee gives us a moving and tender coming of age story in a very organic way. But for me it was also a story about hope and courage and reminded me of a moment in time when we are most innocent and honest. I also have to commend the work of cinematographer Jamal Solomon for giving scenes great visual texture that moves the cultural elements of the story and the characters.
Directors Note: “From the moment I first met Destiny, I knew she was an incredible talent with a magnetic presence, both in person and on film. People have never seen her like this before— they’ve only known her as Princess Nokia— and I feel honored to be able to introduce this side of her talent to the world through Angelfish. She’s a true artist, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Eva.”
“Angelfish”, will be available May 27 on Tubi.