Words can be kind and loving, but they can also cut like a knife.
Sometimes things never said can be more hurtful than words that are spoken.
In Charles Murray’s latest drama, Things Never Said, he explores the world of the spoken word.
The film stars Shanola Hampton, Omari Hardwick, Elimu Nelson, Tamala Jones, Dorian Missick, Tom Wright, Charlayne Woodard and Michael Beach.
Hampton plays Kalindra Stepney, an aspiring spoken word poet who is trying to find her way and up her game. She is conflicted with herself as she tries to hold together a marriage that is sometimes volatile while trying to start a new career.
ELIMU NELSON and SHANOLA HAMPTON
Hardwick plays Curtis Jackson (not the rapper), himself a talented spoken word artist. He admires Kalindra’s work. Eventually one thing leads to another and an affair begins. Kalindra, who has been the victim of domestic violence, feels safe when she is in the arms of Curtis. Her husband, Ronnie, has his own issues. A one-time promising athlete, Ronnie finds himself doing jobs he feels are beneath him just to make ends meet.
Writer/producer/director Murray explained why he chose to do a film about a female spoken word artist.
“The poet in my film, Kalindra Stepney, is based on my mother,” he said. “The man struggling to find his way through life, Ronnie, is based on my father. The violence is real. The hope for more is real. This drama eventually made me want to write movies, TV, short stories. Hell, I’m sure there are plays and novels coming soon.”
The primary reason he did the movie was simple, says Murray, who is making his feature film debut with Things Never Said. “I love movies.”
Murray has spent more than 10 years as a television writer. He has worked with David Milch (Deadwood, NYPD Blue), Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues) and Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds, Third Watch). He has also worked on Sons of Anarchy, Castle, Criminal Minds and V.
Murray manages to get some fine performances from his cast.
Hampton (Showtime’s Shameless) sparkles on screen. And when she takes the mike, magic happens.
Hardwick truly heats up the screen. Not only is his character a sympathetic ear for Kalindra, he, too, is going through some struggles. He is trying to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter. This is one of Hardwick’s best performances. He shows vulnerability, intensity, strength and compassion.
The chemistry between Hampton and Hardwick is palpable.
Rounding out the talented cast that delivers solid, even performances is Beach (FX’s Sons of Anarchy and NBC’s Crisis), who plays Curtis’s older brother, Will; Tamala Jones (Castle), who plays Kalindra’s best friend, Daphne; Elimu Nelson (House of Lies), who plays Kalindra’s husband, Ronnie, and Dorian Missick (TNT’s Southland), who play’s Daphne’s boyfriend, Steve.
This movie was a no-brainer for Hardwick, who has written more than 4,000 poems.
On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t know), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (OK) and E (excellent), Things Never Said gets an O (OK)
Things Never Said, Running time: 112 minutes; Rated R. (www.thingsneversaid.com)