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Talk to Me


Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P Henson, Martin Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis-Hall

Director: Kasi Lemmons

Driven along by three dynamic leading portrayals, this story of a disc jockey who changed the lives of the black population of Washington DC from the 1960s on certainly has its moments, even though it's overlong and does drag towards the end.

The versatile Cheadle excels as 'Petey' Greene, who hones his skills as a DJ in prison before being given a chance on a local morning show by the station's sole black executive, Dewey Hughes (Ejiofor). Blowing his first show by libelling a Motown bigshot, Petey is sneaked back in by Dewey and proceeds to take over the hearts and minds of Washington's black people by telling them how it is.

His appeal for calm on the blazing Washington streets after the assassination of Martin Luther King is the highlight of the picture. But a botched appearance on Johnny Carson's TV show signals the end of Greene's major career.

Terrific acting by Cheadle, Ejiofor and the long-neglected Henson more than effectively counters a rather embarrassing performance by Sheen as the station head, in this uneven but never less than interesting biopic.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Verve Pictures. Colour by Kodak.
117 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Nov 2007