Stars: Andre Benjamin, Big Boi
Director: Bryan Barber
* (out of five)
Long in production and even longer in the editing room, Idlewild is the first feature film to star André Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton, better known as Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast.
Idlewild is one spectacularly bizarre movie.
Written and directed by Bryan Barber — the man behind several key OutKast videos — Idlewild is set in 1935, in the titular tiny Georgia town. The lads play childhood friends whose very different fortunes are interwoven with the fate of the local speakeasy, the Church.
Patton’s character, Rooster, makes his living running liquor, apparently, and winds up running the Church after its rightful owner is killed by a sleazy gangster (Terrence Howard).
Meanwhile, Benjamin is Percival Jenkins, the son of the local mortician. He also plays a mean piano, which is why he’s at the Church most nights.
You’d think their stories would be related to one another, but that doesn’t happen. Neither of them seems to know exactly what he’s doing from scene to scene, though, and before too long the movie seems just as confused.
It should be director Barber’s job to make the two very different styles mesh, but it’s clear that he has no idea how to accomplish that.