Talk To Me is a biographical sort of film about Ralph Waldo “Petey” Greene Jr. who goes from being an imprisoned convict to a popular radio DJ in Washington DC. The film was directed by Kasi Lemmons and stars Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the leads, with supporting roles by Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen, Cedric The Entertainer, and Mike Epps.
The second Don Cheadle struts on to the screen in character he has your full attention. Whether his portrayal of Petey Greene was accurate or not I don’t know because I watched this without knowing anything about the man. However, I can say that Cheadle is one great actor and he doesn’t fail on this project. The entire cast was excellent overall, with the only issue deterring away from a performance being the wigs Taraji Henson wore playing Greene’s girlfriend. The big afro on her head was distracting and completely fake looking to a sad degree. This film is one of those with “Oscar Nominations” written all over it.
Historically I am sure there are some inaccuracies, with several goof-ups listed and easy to find on the internet dealing with using props and facts that did not fit the time period of the film. However, as a viewer and not a historical buff this did not hurt the film for me. In fact the music being played throughout from that era really enhanced the overall mood and atmosphere of the film.
The problems in Talk To Me begin to occur later in the story. The last half an hour or so don’t even feature the main character anymore, choosing to follow Ejiofor’s character mainly instead. The plot is an exploration of not only Petey’s rise in fame, but his partnership and friendship with Ejiofor’s character: Dewey Hughs. The film transpires over a good length of time, as shown via the hair styles and facial hair of the men with an ending that may have been just as somber as the events occurred in real life. However, once you reach the end of the film it feels like the story is failing you, and that everything just puttered away to nothing.
The last portion of the film may kill it, but the first portion is very much alive and lively. Talk To Me is worth checking out at least once.