If you haven’t gotten around to watching Donald Glover and Rihanna’s Amazon movie Guava Island on Amazon you’re missing out.
I remember hearing when Donald Glover’s Guava Island was announced. I didn’t think much of it initially and expected it to be some type of musical experience without much additional value. Not being a huge fan of either, musically, I put it on the back burner. When it was released and there wasn’t much buzz about it after I felt justified.
However, less than a month later, I finally got around to it and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s short, with a run-time of around 50 minutes, but it says a lot with the time it has.
What’s it about?
The movie starts out by telling the story of Guava Island. Rihanna narrates over some beautiful animation in describing how the island came to be. She speaks of love and war being the dominant forces around the world and says that Guava Island was placed in the middle of the world and meant to be free of these two things. Guava Island has a valuable export that men grew to love, and this brought about conflict.
In the present day, Guava Island is ruled by a militant leader by the name of Red (Nonso Anozie). He lives comfortably and in luxury while the rest of the islands inhabitants live in the slums essentially.
Everyone works, and they work every day. The major export is a fabric and the women work to weave this fabric into cloth while the men work at the docks to ship the fabric out.
Rihanna’s character, Kofi, and dreams of leaving the island. Other inhabitants do as well but Donald Glover’s Deni, a musician, dreams of making a song that will bring everyone together. He doesn’t want to leave.
When we meet our characters, Deni is planning a music festival that he knows Red would not approve of. Watch the clip below to see a clip from the movie featuring both stars.
Check out the trailer for the movie, below:
Why should you watch it?
Guava Island definitely plays as a musical but the music mostly fits into the plot of the movie without feeling out-of-place or forced. With that said it’s good music. Donald found a way to fit his hit “This is America” into the movie as well as his newer song “Feels like Summer.”
On top of the music it’s a movie with a message, a political one that is very clear but not one that should be considered divisive. At one point in the film, one of his Deni’s coworkers at the dock says that he wants to go to America and Deni tells him that any country where you can get rich but only if you make someone else richer is America (this is what led into the song by the way.)
Filmed in Havana, Cuba, Guava Island is has some beautiful scenery as well and makes the most of it.
Overall, Guava Island is a more complete story than you’d expect for 50 minutes and manages to deliver a satisfying punch.
You can stream Guava Island on Amazon Prime Video.