I have to admit, “back in the day” the only thing I knew about Tupac was what I saw on the news and in the tabloids. While others – perhaps diehard fans – have dismissed this movie, I found it to be a good introduction and motivated me to dig deeper into his career and personal life. I didn’t realize his parents were so politically involved, nor did I know Tupac attended a fines arts high school, and later made several respectable films. He was obviously a bright and talented person. Yes, he came across as controversial, but maybe it was more for how he said things, and not what he said. In other words, some of his valid messages may have gotten lost on the messenger.
As for the film, I thought Demetrius Shipp did a good job. His resemblance to Tupac is uncanny and there were a few times I had to remind myself that I was watching Shipp, not Tupac. For me, the movie helped shed light on many events in his short life. Particularly revealing – how accurate, I don’t know – were the scenes with his parents. His upbringing sheds light on why Tupac become the person he was. The portrayal of East and West coast rap stars of the day seemed well thought out and well cast. For example, the actor cast as Suge Knight was a good call (imagine a bio-pic about Suge!).
Tupac seemed to be one of those whose light burned brighter and faster than most. Like a comet, it lights up the sky for a brief time and then is gone. In his short life, he saw many things and did many things. Diehard Tupac fans might know all the deficiencies of this movie, but for those who want an introduction to the man and his motives, this is a good place to start. It certainly opened my eyez!