John Boyega sure has come a long way, boy. I started watching Imperial Dreams on Netflix because I was a bit intrigued by the synopsis. A 21-year-old reformed gangster’s, Bambi Jones, devotion to his family and his future is put to the test when he is released from prison and returns to his old neighborhood in Watts, Los Angeles.
He wants to be a writer. He’s a young Black man coming out of prison, wanting to be a writer and take care of his son. That intrigued me. He has no place to stay so he’s living with his uncle, trying not to get into anything illegal. So we’re with him in the beginning of the film, as he is trying to get settled in. He has to find some stable housing. He has to get a job. And he visits his son’s (whose name is Day) mom, who is prison. So, shit really isn’t that great right now. And Bambi’s mom is a drug addict.
His uncle Shrimp is trying to get him to do something illegal. Running some drugs into Portland, apparently. And Bambi isn’t with it, naturally. He’s basically forcing him to do it or he’ll kick him out. So he does something pretty bold. He decides to take his son and live in his car. An old car that doesn’t seem to run anymore. Or at least he can’t afford to get it to run.
Basically, it’s a bitch trying to get himself rehabilitated. And it all feels way too real right now. I’m struggling financially, I’ve been met with the strong possibility of being homeless. Not being able to find a job. This element of Imperial Dreams really hit home for me. The whole movie is about seeing this young guy struggling in the hood, with all the dangers and depression that comes with it.
John is excellent in the roll, he pretty much carries the whole movie. Great performances from everybody involved. It’s a pretty good flick.