Director Derrick Perry’s feature debut Pink Opaque showcases the gap between ambition and access as a young couple tries to reach their dreams in Los Angeles. Director Perry takes a unique and beautiful ironic premise about a newly homeless film student making a documentary depicting homelessness and squanders the opportunity to tell a vibrant story with depth.
Travis Wolfe, a Los Angeles film student, struggles to finish his final documentary required to graduate while he maneuvers a relationship with his girlfriend and reconnects with his estranged uncle. Recently made homeless, Travis works to create a compelling documentary about the homeless community in Los Angeles.
After hitting a few roadblocks, Travis reaches out to his uncle who happens to be a television producer with industry experience. Travis works to balance his personal and professional lives and support his girlfriend as she reaches for her dreams.
What Works (and what doesn’t)
The film is visually stunning. Director Perry uses close-up shots during emotionally intense scenes, which gives the audience direct access to the characters’ nuances and emotions. The film also makes great use of aerial shots and landscape visuals that help to establish place. These shots make Los Angeles an unofficial main character in the film.
Despite the film’s visual beauty, it struggles to find authenticity as the film aims to tackle subject matters like homelessness, gang violence, homosexuality and mental health to name a few. With the themes exploring such major topics, Perry fails to cover any of these beyond a surface-level interpretation.
In spreading itself too thin with the multiple topics, Pink Opaque also lacks strong character development. At times, the actors and the actresses in the film come across as people delivering lines instead of the characters they are meant to embody. The film has a few bright spots of character vulnerability that prove Elijah Boothe was the right actor for the role, but I found myself looking for those moments more often.
Much like the characters in the film, Pink Opaque is full of ambition. Perry shows the diversity of experiences in Los Angeles from the homeless to the elite and depicts part of Asian gang life in the city as well. The film serves as a nice introduction to less explored and less glamorous parts of L.A. life, but it lacks the depth and nuance required for authenticity.
Hot Buttered Content, an Atlanta-based production company, brings Pink Opaque to major streaming services on July 27. It is available for digital purchase on Amazon, Vudu, and Apple.
You can watch the full trailer for the film below.