Saturday, April 28, 2012
Pariah is a film about attempted connections; Alike can't fully embrace the circle Laura runs in, while her peaceful moments with Audrey are all too brief. Alike and Bina bond over music, but it isn't clear that both girls understand their feelings to the same degree. What makes Pariah (a shaky title, by the way) so moving is that it isn't just a film about entering the gay community but also about entering adult life. After a well-staged and frightening confrontation with her family(Wayans' Audrey, angry at everyone, is scorching.), the realization that Alike's true home lies elsewhere comes almost as a relief. Adepero Oduye plays Alike with a devastating smile and a palpable need or love of all kinds; Alike rides into her next chapter beholden to no one's idea of who should be, and it's that sense of new discovery that makes Pariah feel like the first of what comes next.