Guava Island is a project that’s been lingering in the back of my mind like the lyrics to Cardi B’s verse on the Thotiana remix. I remember peeping this Vulture article back in November and watching that super small, bootleg-ass trailer from someone’s Instagram thinking “What in the world is Gambino cooking up now?”
Now, after months of anticipation and at least sixteen circulations of me re-listening to Childish Gambino’s album “Awaken, My Love!”, Guava Island is finally available to stream for everyone on Amazon until 9 pm EST today (April 13th). Then, it’ll only be available to fancy-schmancy Amazon Prime members. Like me :).
Guava Island is an explosion of culture. From the display of exuberant patterns to the constant showcase of beats and musicality, this movie displays that there is so much untapped potential lying beneath the surface of this paradise island. Also, the fact that this film features both Rihanna and Donald Glover is basically a cheat code that programs me to watch this movie at least once. So, I did.
Creativity vs. Capitalism
At the beginning of the movie, Kofi (played by the one and only badgalriri a.k.a Rihanna) tells a story of the island’s fruition and ends with the sentiment that the island needs a day off, so it can truly get in touch with its culture and thrive.
Throughout the whole movie, there is a clash between creativity and capitalism. Deni (played by the beautifully woolly Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino) is a well-known local musician who’s about to hold a festival in Guava Island to give its people a day of celebration. Red Cargo (played by the dominating presence of Nonzo Anozie) is the overseeing eye over the island’s manufacturing epicenters and only has one thing on his mind: the almighty dollar. And, he’ll do anything that he can to keep everyone working.
Did I Love It? vs. Did I Really Love It?
I thoroughly enjoyed Guava Island for what it was. It’s an eye-catchingly beautiful visual showcase of Childish Gambino’s music with a touching, yet minor underlying story that ties it together well. I’m a die-hard Childish Gambino fan, so of course, I’m going to enjoy sprinkles of Gambino’s music within the piece. Throughout the film, you’ll hear This is America, Summertime Magic, Feels like Summer, and Saturday.
I also enjoyed the story as well, albeit predictable. It wasn’t perfect, but damn it I had a good time watching Guava Island. If you’re a Gambino fan, if you like to listen to good music, or if you just like looking at a beautiful place, with beautiful people, wearing beautiful clothes then you should definitely give this movie a watch. Take 55 minutes of your day, watch Guava Island, and feel the creative inspiration. You deserve it.