Set It Off
Set It Off: The Movie That Broke Barriers and Inspired Generations
Set It Off is a 1996 American heist crime action film directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Kate Lanier and Takashi Bufford. The film stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise (in her film acting debut) as four friends who decide to rob banks after facing various hardships in their lives.
The film was a critical and commercial success, earning over $41 million against a $9 million budget. It also received praise for its portrayal of strong, complex, and realistic female characters, especially Black women who are often stereotyped or marginalized in mainstream media. Set It Off was one of the first films to feature a predominantly Black female cast in a leading role, and it influenced many other films and artists in the genre.
Set It Off is not only a thrilling and entertaining movie, but also a powerful and inspiring one. It explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, justice, oppression, racism, sexism, classism, violence, and survival. It also challenges the audience to empathize with the protagonists and their motives, even if they do not condone their actions. The film shows the struggles and sacrifices that many Black women face in a society that often ignores or exploits them.
Set It Off is a movie that deserves to be watched and appreciated by everyone. It is a movie that broke barriers and inspired generations. It is a movie that set it off.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Set It Off is the performance of its four lead actresses. Jada Pinkett Smith plays Stony, a college-bound student who loses her brother and her scholarship in a police shooting. Queen Latifah plays Cleo, a bold and rebellious lesbian who loves cars and guns. Vivica A. Fox plays Frankie, a bank teller who gets fired after a robbery and becomes a suspect. Kimberly Elise plays T.T., a single mother who works as a janitor and loses her son to child services.
The four actresses deliver powerful and nuanced performances that bring their characters to life. They show their vulnerability, strength, humor, and loyalty as they bond over their shared experiences and dreams. They also show their desperation, anger, fear, and guilt as they resort to crime and face the consequences. The film does not shy away from showing the violence and tragedy that befall them, but also the joy and hope that they find in each other.
Another notable aspect of Set It Off is the direction of F. Gary Gray. Gray, who was only 27 years old at the time, showed his talent and vision in creating a compelling and stylish film that blended action, drama, and social commentary. He used various techniques such as slow motion, freeze frames, split screens, and montages to create tension and emotion. He also used music and sound effects to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the film. He collaborated with composer Christopher Young and rapper Dr. Dre to create an original score that mixed orchestral and hip-hop elements.
Gray also worked closely with the writers and the actors to develop the story and the characters. He wanted to make a film that was realistic and authentic, but also entertaining and engaging. He wanted to make a film that showed the perspective and the voice of Black women, who are often silenced or misrepresented in Hollywood. He wanted to make a film that made a statement and a difference.