When I first saw the preview for the movie The Photograph I thought it was going to be like every other black love story. The classics like Love & Basketball, Love Jones ( my favorite movie of all time), Brown Sugar etc, but it wasn’t. In fact it was more relatable then the timeless classics. Maybe because I was faced with the reality of seeing myself on screen. The movie opens up with a reporter from New York played the famous “Get Out” star (Lakeith Stanfield).” Michael” Issa Rae’s soon to be love interest is researching a story about a fisherman named Isaac who is based in Louisiana. When he visits Issac (Y’Lan Noel) for the first time in his home he sees some beautiful photos of a woman named Christina (Chanté Adams). Who just so happens to be a photographer that Isaac fell in love with years ago. Intrigued by her work Michael sets out to learn more about her by meeting her only daughter Mae.
Mae’s character ( Issa Rae) is a museum curator living in New York who has just lost her mother, and feels like her mother never loved her. According to Mae her mother never knew how to love anyone and placed most of her love into her work. A bit angry and bitter Mae starts reading her mother’s love letter that she left addressed to her before her death. We discover later in the film that although, cancer was the cause of her mothers death, she took time out to uncover some secrets and finally let Mae get a glimse into her life. While Mae starts to discover the truth about her mother and her first love Isaac, she slowly stumbles upon love entering into her own life through her interaction with the reporter Michael. In the film you will see similar sparks that fly between her and Michael much like the same spark you see in Isaac and Christina. This film tracks two relationships developing in different eras, but with the same concept that love never fades. Actually in one particular scene you see Mae and Michael end up at the exact same club as Isaac and Christina did when they were younger. The scene will allow you to witness great chemistry, and the idea that no one else in the room matters but the love they both share. Don’t we all crave that kind of love? I feel like we all should! The movie “The Photograph” let’s us all know in fact we should try to make it a priority.
While Michael’s character seems to be scared of commitment, Mae’s character is scared to fall in love and afraid that in some odd way she is just like her mother. Like majority of us in our twenties and thirties we tend to have the same problem with love. We often feel as though love is attainable, but realistically not sustainable. As Mae’s character played out on the screen all I saw was myself. I think Mae loves the idea of love much like myself, but is afraid to really let it become reality. I often ask myself what prompted me to have these exact same feelings? Does it stem from my past relationships or my childhood?
In the end Mae who is so similar to her mother, eventually has the courage to go after her love no matter how far away he is, without doubt or question. I wonder will I eventually do the same thing? Will I finally understand that having goals and love at the same time can exist….or will I be like Christina choose my career over love? I may be confused about which character I will turn out to be in the end, but one thing I’m sure of is none of us living on planet earth can live without love. It’s a proven fact! Look at Aunt Oprah she can’t live without Stedman, just like Mae couldn’t live without Michael. Isaac however wasn’t given the choice to live without Christina, but in the end she gave him the best gift love could ever offer.
Without giving away the entire movie, let me tell you some of the things I noticed in the Photograph that are so relevant to love/ relationships today.
1. Live Your Dreams– There is a pivotal moment in the movie where Christina decides to leave Isaac because she is unsatisfied with her life of just being a live-in girlfriend and taking photos for fun. Her dream is to become a well- known photographer. She wanted Isaac to leave home with her so she could have her dream and her man, but Isaac was content with being a fisherman in New Orleans. She packed her things and left in the middle of the night without saying goodbye. Although many may not agree with this concept, I actually do. If she would have said bye to Isaac he probably would have changed her mind and who knows maybe saying goodbye was too hard for her. I honestly believe when you have a dream and you eat, sleep, and breathe it nothing can stop you from reaching that goal not even love. I actually commend her for leaving. She wasn’t fulfilled in her womanhood. Sometimes we as women put our dreams on hold for the sake of love and our dreams fade. If it is really true love it will come back around. Advancement is for the betterment of the person. Love is just a bonus package to accompany your dreams.
2. Go After Who You Love– During the interview Micheal asked Issac is there anything he would have done differently? Issac said he would have went after Christina! So many men let good women go because of fear and pride. The whole notion of I will never chase a woman that doesn’t want to be kept is absouletly ridiculous. Being afraid of rejection can cost you the love of your life. I felt like because Isaac didn’t go after Christina he settled for the easy route. He ended up marrying his second choice once Christina left. The question that is left unturned in the film is was Isaac really happy with the choice he made? Is settling better than checking your pride at the door? If you sincerely love someone never be afraid to tell them. Even if they reject you, knowing that you did everything in your power to keep them is a much better outcome. Way better than tossing and turning yearning for the love of your life.
3. Tell The Truth- There is a scence in the movie where Mae finds out about Michael’s past relationship through his young nieces. From a woman’s standpoint we never want to hear alarming information from another source. We want to hear the truth from you no matter how much it hurts. You never know just by you telling your partner the truth they may actually be more understanding than you expected.
4. Have Open Communication- Sometimes in life we are scared to tell our love interest how we really feel about something. Instead of addressing the issue we often avoid it at all cost. Mae wanted to tell Michael that she loved him and wanted him to reconsider his job offer in London. She just didn’t have the guts, so she broke up with him. I was Mae! I use to have the hardest time telling others how I felt because I was afraid of their reaction. Not anymore! I’ve learned to say how I feel out of love and I’m no longer afraid. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
I hope you enjoyed my short list of the things I learned from the movie. Remember love conquers all, and BLACK LOVE is the most sought out love on the planet. Shall we never be afraid to find it and hold it dear in our hearts.
P.S. Make sure you check out the trailer of the Photograph in my post!
Until Next Time,