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Nicholas Manuel Pino’s Bosco stands as a different kind of prison drama, one that touches on such subjects as guilt, family relationships and the absence of freedom. Aubrey Joseph’s performance is nothing short of amazing.

All prison dramas are just the same. For example they have a hero being abused by the other prisoners or even guards. The protagonist in most cases who did not do anything wrong would find an understanding friend among his fellow inmates and so forth. Then there will be an escape plot etcetera.

However, it is different from others following some aspects stated above. First, Quawnta (Aubrey Joseph) who is locked up here is actually guilty. He is guilty but somewhat sorry for his actions though he never accepts that he had any choice over it at all. Our closeness to Quawnta (aka Bosco) doesn’t make us fully sympathetic because of this constraint in its narrative structure.

For instance, throughout the film we hear him speak in voiceover about how he has been suffering in jail but somehow we feel like he deserved this punishment. The exact nature of Bosco’s crimes isn’t directly mentioned; however, it can be deduced through flashbacks into when he was younger that his immoral father led him towards a life of crime (Tyrese Gibson). This process of emotional extradition is well-defined in the narrative.

The whole movie is tinged with green color giving you a feeling that you are looking at cloudy sky which won’t rain no matter what bringing out sadness as if it were moulting melancholy. And I must say that Aubrey Joseph’s portrayal of Bosco was so convincing that I found myself wondering whether or not he himself had ever come from such a background. It takes quite something for someone so young to know suffering so intimately.

One strong point that helped save small budgeted movies like this one from including scenes of long drawn out violence against Bosco is the fact that there was only one explicit act of violence involving him; a prison guard kicks him without cause. Rather than being Black, it’s about defiance. Sadly, everything turns out to be really bad for Bosco. He doesn’t have any past, no future and a present that has become too edgy. His wife left him. And he has always been told in prison by others that his son will grow up to be just like the father who turned Bosco into a criminal.

This could seem as if ghetto-level back man life were being stereotyped according to them. Some of the saddest clichés in movies are actually based on real stories. I never saw Bosco smile throughout this film except for when he got a visitor in jail that was so rare. She is his friend Tammy (Nikki Blonsky) who talks about dressing up for parties and having fun.

Gosh, what wouldn’t Bosco do to party with Tammy! This movie is haunted by an absence of true freedom which leaves no room for normal living.

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