The Least Among You DVD Review
“The Least Among You” has far too many flaws to ignore.
Based on a true story, “The Least Among You” revolves around a young black man named Richard Kelly. The story begins with Kelly being wrongfully arrested for the assault of a police officer during the Watts riots. Faced with having to go to jail or be on probation, Kelly is forced to go on probation at an all-white seminary school. While at the school, Kelly (with the guidance of a janitor/gardner) decides to protest the school board policy and fight for African-American rights. Can he overcome the odds?
While “The Least Among You” is certainly a well-intentioned film with strong (albeit heavy handed themes) about religion, race, racism, hope, and redemption, the movie unfortunately misses the mark. First time writer/director Mark Young is clearly in over his head here as the script and direction are downright sloppy. The script is littered with stilted dialogue and is generally poorly structured. Scenes literally feel as if they are randomly strung together. There’s no flow or rhythm to anything happening on screen (Of course, the quick cut editing doesn’t help either). As for the direction, it’s amateur at best. The film has no visual flair and the directing of the actors is just awkward.
On the subject of the actors, lead actor Cedric Sanders is woefully miscast as Richard Kelly. The young actor’s beats are flat out awkward and he rarely displays any emotion (not even during heavy dramatic scenes). Thankfully, respected character actors William Devane, Lauren Holly and Louis Gossett Jr. manage to give the film some credibility with solid performances.
Summary: Under more capable hands, this could have been a powerful and inspiring film. As is, however, it’s a poorly made mess.
The 2.35:1 widescreen picture quality is ok. The lack of proper scene lighting makes the film look darker than it should be. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is also merely ok. The main problem with the track is that the dialogue sounds too low in spots.
* Lionsgate trailers.
* 4 deleted scenes.
* Interviews with editor Omar Daher and composer Mark Kilian.
* A behind the scenes featurette that contains interviews with the cast and crew, discsussions about the themes/story, etc.
* “Rev. Dr. Charles Marks- The Real Richard Kelly- “Footprints In the Garden”- Rev. Marks talks about his life which is infinitely more interesting than “The Least Among You”.
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