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TIFF 2021: “Learn to Swim”


© Courtesy of TIFF

Rating: 3 out of 5.

No feature film can go wrong when it chooses contemporary jazz as its main theme. And when it is combined with love and loss, past trauma and painful memories, it turns the film, does not matter how ironic it may sound, into a guilty pleasure.

Dezzi (Thomas Antony Olajide) is a very talented sax player. His ability to catch notes is astonishing. Selma (Emma Ferreira), despite being less experienced, her voice and talent are unmatched. When the paths of the two cross each other’s, their romance begin to boom. Everything they touch turns into fire, a fire that will lead them towards a bumpy road and if not careful, will break them apart.

Thyrone Tommy’s feature debut is everything you will ever want to see from a debut film. Beautiful music, solid performances and a strong narrative provide an excellent lesson on how to learn to swim for Thyrone and Selma. Two of them are almost like first-time lovers; they want everything from the relationship but are not ready to face it fully. They aim and fly high.

But it’s their unpreparedness and a stormy personality that will lead them towards the breaking point. And with the clever direction, you will find Thyrone suffering as the memory of the past hunts him down to the level when he no longer can get up on his feet.

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