I recently saw the film Shottas starring Kymani Marley, one of the musician children of the late great Bob Marley, Spragga Benz, Paul Campbell, Wyclef Jean and other Caribbean actors and entertainers. The film is something of modern day Scarface in the sense that two childhood friends set out to take over the drug trade in Miami. Scarface is about Cubans and Shottas about Jamaicans. Some of the scenes in the film are similar to scenes in City of God, particularly one of the early scenes where Biggs (Kymani Marley) and Wayne (Spragga Benz) hang out with the older thugs/”Badman dem”. Unlike City of God and Scarface, Shottas isn’t an award-winning film, but it’s a great film for a few reasons that only true fans can appreciate.
The soundtrack to the film is great. There is some hip hop in the film that reflects Jamaica today, but most of the music is reggae, real Jamaican music. Obviously, the movie stars dominate Kymani Marley and it’s fair to say that Marley-related songs dominate the movie, whether it’s Bob Marley or Kymani Marley. Definitely a plus for the film.
The language of the film is first class. Many of the scenes feature people speaking Jamaican patois, especially when Spragga Benz is in the scene. This is one of the better Jamaican movies for someone who wants to speak Jamaica. From a learning point of view, the film is worth its weight in gold.
The acting in the film leaves something to be desired, but that’s to be expected when it’s mostly first-time musicians. The acting and plot could be better, but it’s still interesting.
Overall, this is a great film for the person who wants to speak Jamaican patois, loves reggae music, or loves a good rise and fall movie.
I definitely recommend this movie.