Site icon Culture Elixir

‘Young. Wild. Free.’ Review [Sundance Film Festival]

A still from Young. Wild. Free. by Thembi Banks, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. | photo by Tommy Oliver. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by the press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.


Young. Wild. Free. is a film directed by Thembi L. Banks with screenplay by Juel Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier. It stars Algee Smith and Sierra Capri.


The film follows Brandon (Algee Smith), a teenager who is under a lot of pressure: caring for his two younger siblings, dealing with school, and discovering that his mom (Sanaa Lathan) has fallen behind on their home’s property taxes. Everything changes when he encounters Cassidy robbing a gas station. He discovers that they go to the same school, and eventually the two develop a Bonnie and Clyde type relationship.


The film is filled with a myriad of vibrant colors. I loved all of the different outfits and makeup styles that Cassidy wore; they were really beautiful and added to her dreamy allure.


Smith and Capri had a lot of chemistry. You could really feel for Smith’s character, who was in a constant state of pressure. And I feel like despite the two characters being practically opposites, they each complemented each other in the perfect way.


I think Young. Wild. Free. tackled a lot of important topics involving mental health, and the burdens that the eldest children of families often have to carry. However, I was a bit disappointed in the film’s twist. The twist felt so overexplained I ended up feeling really confused. Despite this, I still enjoyed it, and I do have to say it had my favorite soundtrack out of all of the films I’ve watched so far from Sundance.

Exit mobile version