Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Trinidad has its fair share of ghetto gangster films but most of them are action crime dramas that spend little time exploring the deeper ramifications of this lifestyle. So, it was refreshing to check out 2014 short Crossroads. Written and directed by Ryan “Chance” Bascombe and racking up more than 360,000 views on YouTube, the film follows Mac (Keenan Craig), an arrogant drug dealer who is shot multiple times in the street. As he lays dying with his mother crying over him and a crowd looking on, he reflects upon his life.
Let’s start with reflecting on the positives. I thought the choice of narrative structure — starting with the shooting incident, jumping back to young Mac and working forward — was an inspired one and works well for the story. The writing is layered, and one can tell Bascombe put work into the story rather than just “bad gangster dies how he lived”. It was also intriguing seeing the story from the drug dealer’s perspective and having him justify his heinous actions with his own moral code. And, in keeping with the title, we also see where he could have changed his ways at different points but didn’t.
On the negatives, I found Mac’s narration was a bit weak. And while most of the acting has a realistic feel to it Marvin Hamilton’s performance as drug boss Mr. Hero, however, did not come off as believable. There is also a post credits scene which could have been punchier. But overall, Crossroads does work as a cautionary tale and is one of the better interrogations of the gangster life in Trinidad that I have seen put to film.
Editor Jules Score: 7 out of 10
You can watch Crossroads for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more TT content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by the Cryptkeeper, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “13 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.