SFF 2017: Review – Patti Cake$

With a motley group not one sees all too often in hip hop circles, Patti, a white girl, gathers her grand mother in a wheel chair, an over enthusiastic Indian and an African American guy who seems to be more interested in Marilyn Manson and not having anyone else around. They form an unlikely hip hop group to take on a performance competition.

This is a great fun film marked with note perfect performances and a sympathetic direction from Geremy Jasper.

 It might be seen as superficial to describe this as a hip hop Muriel’s Wedding, but there are other similarities other than just the size of the film’s respective leads. 

Firstly they are funny. Patti Cake$ is absolutely hilarious. It will leaving you rolling in the aisles.

There are quirky characters yet they are still rooted in realism. They are quite a diverse bunch of misfits yet they are only slightly exaggerated. You can easily imagine these people existing in real life.

 Both films portray difficult family dynamics. It’s not all smooth sailing in the family in the film. Consisting of a three women, a grand mother, mother and Patti herself, they fight, wrestle their respective demons and disappointments.

There’s an element of tragedy in the films. Thanks to the difficult family relationships, dealing with the demands of day (and night) jobs, the rose coloured glasses are rarely seen in Patti Cake$.

 Patti Cake$ could be the launch pad for a career just as Muriel did for Toni Collette. It’s such a magnetic performance. Danielle MacDonald’s performance is phenomenal and looks to be the first in many starring rolls. She will deserve all the praise she gets. She drew a standing ovation at the Sydney Film Festival and deservedly so. 

Mostly though, as with Muriel’s, this film has a lot of heart. Patti Cake$ has one of hip hop’s highest goals – an authenticity. 

 Patti Cake$ plays at the Sydney Film Festival 17 June. Check the Sydney Film Festival website for details. http://www.sff.org.au


Michael Collins


Saturday 17th of June, 2017

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