Straight outta history and onto the screen

Zachery Halsey, Staff Writer

If you are looking for a movie that will bring you to your feet while you bang your head and throw your fists, only to have you on your knees holding back tears later on, then “Straight Outta Compton” is the film for you to see.

This musical biopic takes place during 1986 in, you guessed it, Compton, Calif. The film focuses on Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and other famous rappers who go on to create the notorious rap group “N.W.A.” and the creation of their first album “Straight Outta Comp­ton.” As years of success start to roll by, the audience watches first hand as the group deals with many problems from both outside and inside the group, which eventu­ally leads to the artists branching out on their own. You continue to watch how these artists’ choices affected them later in life, for better or worse.

The first thing I will say about this film is it really caught me by surprise. I will be honest in saying that I didn’t care much for seeing this movie. With that said, it was not because I heard it was bad or good, it was just something that I had no interest in. I know all the artists in­volved and even enjoy some of their songs, but rap was not and still is not my kind of music. After hearing that it was decent, I decided to look into it just to see what the hype was all about. Thank God I did.

Another great reason to see this film is if you love music. Within 15 minutes of the film starting, I noticed that I was bobbing my head along because the tracks were so good. For goodness sake, it is a biopic of one of the most influential groups of a generation–of course the music is going to be good. It was really cool to watch and later look for the music created by the artists.

The big thing I was worried about in this film was how actors would do portraying these artists. There was a lot of pressure on these actors because not only were they not big stars, but they were also doing their best to pull off believable, real-life people.

I have to say, they really pulled it off.

Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., played his father in the film and there were times I would have to remind myself that it was not re­ally him. The best performance in the film though would have to be Paul Giamatti’s portrayal of Jerry Heller. It was great to see Giamatti bring in the audience, at first show­ing himself as a good guy who was protecting the protagonists only to later show his true colors as a slimy snake taking advantage of the group without them knowing.

With all this said, the big reason why “Straight Outta Compton” went straight into my heart is because of what these people went through to get to where they are today. They struggled. They were discriminated against. They went through personal problems, deaths, money problems, people screaming at them and they came out creating something great.

The film did a great job showing the brotherhood among these men. And it did all of this while being brutally honest and real. They did not hold their punches when they depicted all the riots and police brutality and what it was like in Compton.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Ice Cube is talking to reporters about his music. He talks about how he raps about what he sees and how he lives. How his life was brutal and terrifying at times, so what was he supposed to write about in his lyrics? Best of all what had you licking your lips for more was the little reminder in the back of your mind that this is based off of real events.

“Straight Outta Compton” was truly a cinematic adventure that let you watch a group of real people grow and see how the choices they made affected them. Seeing this film was a happy accident for me. An accident that I would happily make again.