Rick Famuyiwa wrote and directed the movie “Dope,” which shows how hard it is for black teens to live in a tough neighborhood.
This movie is made by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi. Shameik Moore plays Malcolm Adekanbi, Tony Revolori plays Jib, and Kiersey Clemons plays Diggy. When it was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, this movie got a lot of praise for how well it showed life in a rough neighborhood and how it dealt with a lot of complicated issues, such as the long-standing drug problem. This coming-of-age movie is mostly about three geeks in high school and their crazy adventures when they get a bag of drugs by accident. The story is interesting, the script is funny, and the characters are well-developed, which gives the audience a look into the city and neighborhood of Inglewood, California.
“Dope” takes place in a part of Inglewood, California, called “The Bottoms.” It tells the story of Malcolm, a smart black high school student, and his friends Jib and Diggy. They are all crazy about hip-hop music from the ’90s, love to skate, and have their own punk band. Malcolm and his friends live in a neighborhood with a lot of crime, but that doesn’t stop them from having big dreams. And Malcolm wants to go to Harvard College. After being invited by chance to a drug dealer’s birthday party, things go from bad to worse. The next day, he finds a lot of drugs in his bag that Dom put there. After getting a call from someone they don’t know who threatens to turn Malcolm in, they decide to get rid of it and give it to the person who made the call. Before Malcolm could give the drugs to AJ, Dom called him from jail to tell him not to. He also told him to take the drugs to someone named AJ.
Malcolm and his friends go to AJ’s house, where AJ’s son and daughter meet them. Since their dad isn’t home, the kids hang out with Malcolm and his friends and play music. Later, Malcolm has to leave right away for his interview with a Harvard graduate, but when he meets him, he learns something shocking that shocks him. Now, he has to do something against his morals to get into Harvard.
Malcolm and his nerdy friends come up with a new way to sell drugs that puts them at little or no risk, and they ask their hacker-drug dealer friend Wil Sherwood for help. On paper, their plan seems foolproof, but it could either solve all of their problems or get them into a bad situation where they die. Three nerds’ lives were turned upside down by what seemed like a simple birthday party. Now, they have to face challenges to stay alive and have a chance to go to college.
How does Malcolm get the drugs at the end of “Dope”?
Malcolm and his friends have to take a strange way home from school one day because that’s where the drug dealers hang out. Dom, a local drug dealer, comes and gets Malcolm at the intersection and asks him to get Nakia to come to his birthday party. Malcolm and his friends decide to go to the party after Nakia agrees to go if he goes too. When members of the other gang break into Dom’s party with guns blazing, everyone runs and there is panic in the club. Dom ducks under the bar table to hide from the chaos, and that’s where he finds Malcolm’s bag. He takes the bag, puts the drugs in it, and gives it to Malcolm with the request that he leave right away.
The next day at school, when Malcolm walks through the metal detector and it goes off, he is shocked to find a gun and a lot of “molly” in his bag. He gets scared, so everyone runs to the band room. He realizes that Dom put drugs in his bag during the shootout, and now he is doomed. Suddenly, his bag’s phone rings, and an unknown caller tells Malcolm that he has to give him all the drugs later that day.
But Malcolm couldn’t get rid of it because Dom called him right before he was about to give the bag to the caller and told him that this could all be a trap. Whether the caller is a cop or a rat, their lives are in danger either way. He tells Malcolm to take the bag to a man named AJ, and he gives Malcolm AJ’s address. The three nerds go to AJ’s house to try to get rid of the drugs.
What is AJ’s name? Why did The Interview affect Malcolm so much?
Malcolm, Jib, and Diggy get to the huge mansion. Jaleel and Lily, AJ’s son and daughter, are there to greet them. Since AJ isn’t at home, everyone hangs out at their place and even makes music. Malcolm decides to stay with Lily, while Jib and Diggy go with Jaleel to get some burgers. Due to a series of bad luck, Jib and Diggy are forced to leave the burger place where the caller followed them. Meanwhile, Lily tricks Malcolm into stealing some drugs, and right at that moment, he gets a call for his interview with Harvard alumni.
Lily offers to drive Malcolm to the interview, but she is high on drugs, so she drives erratically, passes out at the stop sign, and then rushes across the road to pee in the bushes. Malcolm has to drive himself to work because he has no other choice. As he walks into the office, he sees pictures of Dom, Jalee, and Lily. Austin Jacoby, a Harvard grad, greets Malcolm. Soon, Malcolm realizes that Jacoby is AJ, the person Dom told him to give the bag to.
Malcolm asks Jacoby if he knows about Dom and tells him about the bag of drugs he was supposed to bring to Dom. Jacoby uses Amazon as an example to talk about the “slippery slope” and how it would affect his reputation as a seller. He doesn’t want the delivery that didn’t go right; he wants the money. He’s saying, “If you can do this, it tells me more about you than any interview could. And then it would be my job to make you a Harvard man.”
Malcolm couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He was shocked to find out that a Harvard graduate was one of the reasons why drug problems in Inglewood had been going on for so long. He wanted to go to Harvard not only to learn, but also to leave The Bottoms and the area. But when he met AJ, he realized that ‘The Bottoms’ doesn’t leave you no matter how far you go from it. People will continue to get caught up in drug dealing, especially if people like AJ, who have reached a point in their lives where they can choose to walk away, don’t. Instead, they keep playing the game and take advantage of people who are desperate to survive. Malcolm’s conversation with AJ had a big effect on him, and he started to wonder if he could ever get out of this situation.
How did Malcolm stop using drugs?
No matter what AJ said, Malcolm was not scared. He and his friends came up with a plan by doing what they do best: using their nerd skills. Malcolm has the idea to sell all the drugs online using bitcoin. For this plan to work, they call their hacker-druggie friend Wil Sherwood. He helps them set up the shop online using Bitcoin transactions so that nothing can be traced back to Malcolm.
They get creative and decide to use the science lab to pack the drugs, the computer lab to make online changes, and their band room to get all the supplies they need to package and ship the drugs. Malcolm says, “No one will think anything of it. No one can catch them because they say, “We’re just geeks doing what geeks do.” Wil suggested that the first people to buy it should be his friends at his house party. And their plan works because the online store goes crazy right away.
What happened that made Malcolm shoot?
Malcolm only had to change his bitcoin into cash after he sold all the drugs. Wil tells them that the black market is the only way that is guaranteed to be safe. He sends Malcolm, Jib, and Diggy to a man named Fidel who works in the clothing business. But Fidel has to pass a test before he can turn the bitcoins into cash. He brings out two bags that look like alligator skin and tells them to pick the real one. The test was meant to teach the three teens something important. He says that the only thing that makes the two bags different is who is selling them. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not; if you think it’s real, other people will think it’s real too. On the other hand, if you don’t think it’s real, it doesn’t matter if the brand is sewn into it; people will think it’s fake. He tells Malcolm, “Only you know the truth.” To see if Malcolm believes him, Fidel tells Malcolm to hit him in the face as hard as he can on the count of five. Malcolm does it, even though he is scared and worried about the “slippery slope” and what will happen. He knows how important it is for him to get the money and what’s at stake.
Malcolm is a different person when he walks out of the building with a bag of cash. He starts to realize how important it is to stick to the truth, because in a place like The Bottoms, anything can happen at any time, and anyone can get caught up in a big problem, no matter who you are or how innocent you are. The only thing that would make a difference and maybe even increase your chances of survival is if you believe in your truth and do what you need to do to deal with the situation.
As they all cross the street, their high school bullies suddenly come up behind them, beat them up, and take Malcolm’s bag. As soon as he starts to walk away with the bag, Malcolm stands up, points a gun at him, and tells him to drop the bag or he’ll shoot. Malcolm goes through a big change at this point in the movie. It shows that Malcolm can deal with a problem in a different way by adapting to the situation and stepping up to look out for his own best interests. The sad truth is that this is how things are. If he asked the bully for the bag, it wouldn’t show how important the situation was to him or how important the bag was. Malcolm would lose everything he has worked so hard for, including the money and the chance to leave The Bottoms. Malcolm had to point the gun and act like a bully to show that what he said was true and that he wanted his bag. As the bully’s eyes move, he sees Malcolm as one of them and gives him his bag.
How does Malcolm get out of The Bottoms, Inglewood?
In many ways, Malcolm would be able to leave behind a dangerous place if he got into Harvard. He goes to AJ’s office with a bag full of cash that adds up to 10% of the total. Malcolm, who is still in high school, has no way of selling that much drugs in a week without getting caught by the police or getting deep into the world of drug dealing. The Harvard grad, AJ, put Malcolm’s life in danger to protect his reputation as a drug dealer. He knew the risks very well. But Malcolm already knew what to do. He knew that bringing the money wouldn’t guarantee that AJ would let him lose and not use this against him in the future, even though it might get him into Harvard.
So, the three nerds set up the online store under Austin Jacoby’s name, and Wil used his hacking skills to get Jacoby’s banking information. They linked the store to his bank account, so technically, Jacoby is the owner of the online store that sells drugs. Malcolm tells Jacoby that the rest of the bitcoin money is in his exchange store as he tells him this. He can move it to his bank account, and there is a very small chance that the DEA or FBI could track it back to his account. This would only happen if he or she was careless when setting up the bitcoin exchange account, or if it was done on purpose. Malcolm tells Jacoby that going to the police would start a chain of events that would destroy him, and that’s not what a Harvard man would do. He made sure Malcolm went to Harvard because it was good for both of them.
Even though AJ had left “The Bottoms,” it had not left him. This person who went to Harvard was still a drug dealer from The Bottoms on the inside. Just like Fidel said, AJ chose to believe this was the truth, so people thought he was a drug dealer instead of a Harvard graduate who runs a check cashing and payday loan business.
Is Malcolm admitted to Harvard?
Malcolm only needed straight A’s, good SAT scores, recommendations, to pass the alumni interview, and to write the best personal statement to get into Harvard. The only thing left to do was write the personal statement, which Malcolm did in the most real and honest way. The sentence says what the whole movie is about.
Malcolm breaks the fourth wall when he looks right into the camera and talks about himself. He starts by telling us about two students. One is a nerd who gets straight As, plays in a punk band with his friends, and loves ’90s hip hop. The other goes to a school that doesn’t have enough money, lives with his single mom, doesn’t know who his father is, and sells drugs. As he asks, “Am I a geek or a menace?,” he’s saying that he’s always felt like he didn’t fit into either group. However, he’s just now realizing that maybe this isn’t a curse but a blessing in disguise.
He starts to think that maybe it’s good that he doesn’t fit in. Malcolm knows to accept how his life and surroundings have shaped him and taught him lessons, for better or for worse. At the end of his speech, he asks, “So why do I want to go to Harvard?” “If I was white, would you even have to ask me that question?” he asks directly to the camera on behalf of all the students who don’t fit in. People often judge how far someone can go or how far they deserve to go based on their background instead of their potential.
Malcolm finds an envelope from Harvard on his bed at the end of the movie. He opens it, reads it, and smiles at the camera. If we follow this clue, we can be sure that Malcolm did get into Harvard.