Dara Ju was warmly received in its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. It is an interesting first feature directorial debut with reasonably good acting, but a messy screenplay that tries to do too much at the same time. It tries to deal with a young Nigerian immigrant's American Dream, his confrontation with racial prejudice, his dysfunctional immigrant family with its own buried secrets, a cross- racial romantic relationship and his growing drug addiction. The screenplay just feels messy with too many subplots and too much happening to allow the stories and characters to fully develop. It is clearly closely related to the director's own family experience as a Nigerian- American immigrant. It is an interesting story and enjoyable although it doesn't feel like it is quite complete in its attempt to cover too much ground in to little space. Even the title is not clearly explained to the audience. The director said it means "better" and that its about the aspirational experience of the immigrant.
A young Nigerian-American financier struggles with love, family, and a prescription drug dependency as his ambitions steer him down a criminal path.
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April 5, 2019