The Forty-Year-Old Version

October 9, 202080/1005 min
Radha Blank, Peter Y. Kim, Reed Birney
Written by
Radha Blank
Directed by
Radha Blank
Run Tine
2h 9min
Release Date
October 9th, 2020
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Looking back on my life, I realize I should have taken that advice I heard so long ago about life moving pretty fast and that I should stop and look around once in a while. It seems like yesterday I was turning thirty and I had all the time in the world to make my life decisions. Seventeen years later I hear the clock ticking louder and the choices I make in life now feel more safe than anything else. That would be what I would tell someone what turning forty is like, but that is my story, Radha Blank has her own and to sum it up in four words, shit just got real.

Radha, who writes, directs, produces, and stars in this story of an artist trying to find a voice that she once had or more importantly, the one that best fits her now. Radha (Radha Blank) is a playwright who once appeared on a thirty under thirty list. Now almost ten years later she is still trying to live up to that title and only has her best friend/manager Archie (Peter Y. Kim) who still believes in her. Radha gets by teaching teens in Harlem theater, all while she is struggling to find herself. Archie though is able to find her latest play “Harlem Ave.” a place, but the producer has some notes, that will take something that is hers and make it something unfamiliar. Radha has always been a writer, before plays it was rhymes and there is an itch she has to scratch as she does something she loves and not something she feels she has to do to be somebody. Radha is at a crossroads and she must decide whether to take the safe path or take a chance and live a little.

Shot in black and white, The Forty-Year-Old Version is not just a journey for Radha, but one for the audience as well, as there are so many that can relate. I wish I could have saw this with a crowd, because if ever a film felt like a communal experience it would be this one. That’s not to say this film isn’t a work of art, because has Blank doing for Harlem what Spike Lee did for Brooklyn. There is a certain beauty that fills this film up and you can’t help but absorb it all in as it feeds your soul. Radha Blank is a name that you are going to want to hear more from, because somehow with The Forty-Year-Old Version she delivers a story that not only will make you laugh, but throws in a little self-reflection in for good measure. My eyes and ears were transfixed on what I witnessed as yours will be too as Radha Blank is not just a voice for the future, she is a voice for now and one you will be glad you heard.

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