Movie Reviews: The Visit




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George O. Singleton

Studio: UrbanWorld Films
     A family experiences a spiritual awakening as they learn to live with the disappointment and shame of a son and brother in prison. Somewhere, in every family, there’s an ache to be healed.
     Hill Harper, Obba Babatunde, Rae Dawn Chong, Billy Dee Williams
Bottom Line:


   Alex (Hill Harper) is serving a 25-year jail term for a rape he alleges he did not commit. While his indignation and possible injustice related to the rape charge may be valid, he is anything but a model citizen. He will soon go before the parole board for the first time, after serving five years in prison.
   His only visitor is his brother Tony (Obba Babatunde), who unlike Alex, went to college and is living up to the expectations of their father Henry (Billy Dee Williams). Tony’s last visit was 10 months earlier and when he does come, he’s alone. Their parents are not with him. Alex would like to see other members of his family and to not be looked down upon by them.
   As a young boy, Alex was friends with Felicia (Rae Dawn Chong), whom he later witnessed being abused. This impacted her life and caused her to take a path similar to Alex’s, although on the surface she had a reason and he did not. Felicia comes to visit Alex and her transformation from a life of drugs and prostitution, has a positive influence on him, which sets him on the path to righteousness. Chong delivers a radiant performance, and her character Felicia has a positive effect on every family member.
   In The Hurricane, the primary villain was a racist white policeman and an insensitive judicial system. In The Visit, the biggest enemy starts out as Alex himself. As in the phrase, "still waters run deep," The Visit is about so much more than a conversation between two people sitting on different sides of a table. Every family has room for a spiritual awakening and there are doors that you may wish to reopen once you see this film.



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