Notorious brings many crucial players from Biggie’s life with some remarkable performances. The story is very fast pace with flash backs through Biggie’s life. The story begins with Biggie’s end, then flashes back as an overweight kid in Brooklyn sitting on a stoop writing song lyrics to being a crack pusher, a father, convicted felon, to being released from prison realizing hip-hop is a way to find fame & fortune.
The vast progressiveness of the movie lacked important details that could have tied scenes together a whole lot better. In one scene Biggie’s mom finds out she has breast cancer. Biggie goes on with his day to day and not much is mentioned about her well being until sometime later. Or what about being fuming mad with every lover he ever had and then being all good the next. Ya think he was really like that? A hot head one second and a big ol’ teddy bear the next? I don’t know…..
The only thing that kept me engaged in the movie was the actor who played Biggie. Jamal Woolard, a Brooklyn rapper known as Gravy, who has zero previous acting experience was astounding in the way he talked like Biggie, swaggered like Biggie, rapped like Biggie, and slightly resembled Biggie.
Thru the hastiness of the movie I did learn a lot about the Notorious BIG. For one, I never realized how much of a ladies’ man he was! And I never associated him with creating the always extravagant firecracker known as Lil Kim. It makes me wonder what type of artist she would have been without him. Not to mention the drama with Faith Evans! Marriage, his unfaithfulness (all pun intended), a child, and rumors of cheating with BFF turn rival – Tupac Shakur. There was so much going on there I’m sure they could have had their own “Hip Hop of Love” reality show.
As we all know, the Tupac-Biggie feud starts when Tupac is shot & robbed in the lobby of Quad Studios. The film portrays Tupac as paranoid and not thinking straight due to his sexual abuse charges, not able to trust anyone who was in the studio when the incident went down. The film denies conspiracy theories that Biggie was involved in Tupac’s 1996 murder and makes out the East Coast vs. West Coast rap wars nothing more than media frenzy. The whole dispute that inevitably got both men shot and killed was left as a misunderstanding the two never hashed out. It’s all heartbreaking. Not that I expected any marvelous answers but anything would have sufficed!
Overall the movie doesn’t give you the full picture. Honestly I got lost figuring out who was who at times. There were few faces I could identify right off the bat. Definitely a movie you have to watch twice to get the characters straight!
Kid Biggie: Christopher Jordan Wallace, played by Biggie’s son
Christopher “Biggie” Wallace: Jamal Woolard
Sean “Puffy” Combs: Derek Luke
Voletta Wallace: Angela Bassett
Lil Kim: Naturi Naghton
Tupac Shakur: Anthony Mackie
Faith Evans: Antonique Smith
Tyanna Wallace: Taylor Dior
Jan (Tyanna’s mom): Julia Pace Mitchell