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  • Hamish Hart

Mickey Hardaway Review

RATING: 7/10

YEARS of physical and emotional abuse takes its toll in Mickey Hardaway, an unrelenting narrative about the long-lasting effects of child misconduct. Marcellus Cox's directorial debut takes necessary risks in order to achieve this incredibly compelling feat, particularly through the way Cox chooses to shoot the feature entirely in black and white, adding emotional layers to a film already encompassed by them.

Young sketch artist Mickey Hardaway (Rashad Hunter) agrees to a one-on-one therapy session with Dr. Cameron Harden (Stephen Cofield Jr.) on the behest of his partner Grace (Ashley Parchment). The ensuing sessions lead Mickey to discover the cause behind his emotional state; a cause that will lead Mickey to revisit his adolescent years and how he formed his love for sketch artistry.

The directorial debut of the young Marcellus Cox is a captivating site to behold. Through the ingenious black and white canvas that masterfully captures the raw emotions of our title characters, including the standout performances given by Rashad Hunter and Stephen Cofield Jr., Cox does a magnificent job at translating the struggles victims of mental health go through during all stages of their lives. These strives are no better represented then during the enticing scenes shared between Mickey and Dr Harden.

Between these one-on-ones and flashbacks to his childhood, the audience is given a clear indication just how severe his past was, and in turn, just how severe his mental state has become. Randall Hardaway (David Chattam) stands alongside Mickey as another highlight in an arthouse film littered with them, conveying unrelenting anger towards his vulnerable son that feels uncomfortably real at times - a masterful feat achieved on the parts of Chattam, Hunter and Cox equally.

Mickey Hardaway is an engrossing study of one's mental physique that demands your full attention, and succeeds in doing so. The directorial debut of Marcellus Cox is an impressive sight to behold as it never lets off the gas pedal, nor is it afraid to showcase the true damage mental and physical abuse can cause later in life. The performances given by the lead cast, as well as the cinematography and risky decision to shoot entirely in black and white, all pay off tremendously for this daring arthouse movie that will no doubt be revered as Cox's magnum opus. And if this is the level of quality expected from Cox in the future, I for one can't wait to see what else the breakthrough director has in store.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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