Sundance 2022: “Emergency”

© Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Society has a disease called racial intolerance. It is not just about the color of the skin, culture, differences, background and ethnic groups. We must learn to look beyond them. What we should forget though, while we take our time to learn and get better, is that the slow process keeps traumatizing those who get affected by racism every day.

Best friends Sean (RJ Cyler) and Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) have a different approach towards their future. Sean does not seem worried about much of his as he lives one day at a time, while Kunle sees himself as somebody who might change the world. The two are getting ready for a big party. But their bigger events lie ahead of them, when, after they find a heavily intoxicated white girl named Emma lying face down on the floor of their apartment, and their Latino roommate Carlos has no clue how she showed up in there.

Nothing perhaps would happen and the best buddies would dial 911. However, fearing that they may be accused of doing something terrible to the girl, the three friends decide to help her without calling the cops. The night begins with a bang and it continues increasing pace when the three of them must decide what to do next. Whatever they do is funny, amusing and a true tragedy. Because if the society was healthy and police were not biased, perhaps Sean would not have to force Kunle not to call the police.

Written by KD Villa and directed by Carey Williams, “Emergency” is an extended version of the short film with the same title that literally gets lost in between. With an important subject matter, the film gets distracted by too many unnecessary dialogues and scenes that do not add value to the storyline. The film continues questioning racism, stereotypes and prejudices but fails to exercise them in a wise way. It could have had many outcomes, but the film chooses the one that towards the end of the film you will feel a big let down. Because, sadly, no matter how hard I tried to like it – it was a big disappointment.

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