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HomeReviewsHollywood Movie ReviewI am Virgo review: Boots Riley and Jharrel Jerome's Towering Series Team-Up

I am Virgo review: Boots Riley and Jharrel Jerome’s Towering Series Team-Up

In 2018, the writer-director Boot relay His debut feature release Sorry to disturb you It was a bold reintroduction for the artist on the world though it never seemed to compromise. Overflowing with wry humor, this is a film that takes no prisoners and isn’t afraid to confront the brutality of capitalism. It flirts with a more surreal darkness before diving in headfirst, kicking you in the chest with the force of a horse and leaving you reeling in the best way possible. Whether you want to call it magical realism or satirical science fiction, it was a fresh vision that immediately made Riley one to watch. His new project, the series I am Virgo, the price of the wait cannot be high. It’s not just a triumphant return for him, but a showcase for the actor Jarrell Jerome, who step into some huge shoes without ever missing a beat. Big on ambition but precisely focused, it’s one of those works that promises to get people talking just like Riley did five years ago. As shown in the first episode SXSWAlready there is a lot of vibrancy and life on display.

It all starts with young Cutie (Jerome), whose world is small but rather big. Specifically, he is 13 feet tall. Everything from the objects it holds to the ceiling is relatively infinite, with carefully crafted visual gags recalling its cramped offices. Being John Malkovich. However, Riley takes it a step further and doesn’t run out of creative ways to explore how Cootie lives her life. From an entire car bench press to the amount of food he has to eat, it’s all about finding the humor and heart in the details. Significantly, and this is very important, the series is not about turning him into a spectacle.

Jarrell Jerome goes on a joyride as Cottage in I'm a Virgo
Image via Prime VideoMore than her size, Kuti is a complex character with aspirations and dreams for herself that cannot be contained. He is being raised by Martis (Mike Epps) and Lafrancine (Carmen Ijogo), who are doing their best to care for him, even though he is quickly outgrowing their small home, both in terms of his size and his curiosity about the world around him. Even when they build her own house in their backyard to give her her space, Cutie wants to know what else is out there. His primary portal into society is television, which Riley uses (as he did) to bake commercialism and corruption into the fabric of our media diet. Sorry to disturb you) Once Cootie ventures into the world outside of modern Oakland, she discovers that she still has much to learn and unlearn.

Much of it shows Riley riffing on material he did in the previous film. just like Lakeith Stanfield As Cassius Greene, Cootie finds himself faced with the choice between being sold out by his new friends and being trapped. Instead of feeling overly familiar, it takes on more depth as we get to see the people around him in more detail. Some of this may be how it’s a series with more time than a feature, but it also seems like Riley has gotten better at honing the ideas expressed through the characters. Each new person we meet brings a different perspective as they introduce Cootie to the world. This takes the form of hilarious sequences where they encounter various shenanigans which are then intercut with more nuanced themes about the challenges faced by the struggling community. Without giving too much away, Riley continues to use the story’s eccentricity to draw attention to the dark absurdity of our daily lives under capitalism. The struggles of working-class people to make rent, access health care, and survive are part of the fabric of the series as its surreal hook.

Shirtless Jarrel Jerome as a cottager in I'm a VirgoImage via Prime Video
what makes I am Virgo It works in ways that keep a cut above Sorry to disturb you How it doesn’t hold back, instead coming out of the gate with its bigger swings on display. In particular, there is a televised interview with a man known as Jay Whittle who is hilariously identified as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and, if that’s not self-aggrandizing enough, Kieron’s hero. to play Walton Goggins In rare form, the character suddenly points a gun to his head and starts talking about the need for laws to keep us safe from any kind of complications.
It’s as if he falls into a trance and, as we get to know his character later in the series, we begin to understand that he’s the embodiment of one of the many death cults that Kuti must navigate. It creates a real connection with her as we see her early experiences with loss and love. The journey it takes in these first four episodes still only feels like it’s scratching the surface of its ambitions. Riley never shies away from the absurd, delivering an earned laugh as Cootie gets caught up in the crazy elements of modern life that also prove dangerous. It’s often silly, and all the better for it, because we’re led by the giant hand of a gentle giant discovering the world for the first time.
It’s conveyed through striking visuals, both capturing the size of the cottage and slowing things down as we’re introduced to other unique abilities. Without revealing their influence, it’s a bit of a stealth superhero satire. It may be tempting to compare it to its constituents the boys Especially as we see a character who is terrorizing the community of Oakland from the skies like Judge Dredd, but I am Virgo A show that comes full circle on its own ends up feeling more groundless.


A monologue at the end of episode four makes it clear that Riley isn’t interested in holding back for subtlety. As the characters in this story face a crisis that requires taking a sledgehammer to the rules, so do we. While neither show is going to change anything on its own, it’s nice to see Riley use her platform to speak her mind. The more glimpses we get of his vision, all his rich creativity and righteous fury bursting free in unexpected directions, the better.
Rating: A
I am Virgo Available now on Prime Video.




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