From the moment I first read about Outkast’s idea for a movie musical, I loved it. Despite its R&B roots, hip-hop is a contemporary, urban genre, so the notion of a hip-hop musical set in Prohibition-era, small-town Georgia was wholly unexpected and thus wholly intriguing. And if anyone could pull it off, it would be the talented, innovative duo of André “Andre 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, supported by their frequent music video director, Bryan Barber.
Outkast didn’t disappoint me. Intellectually, I know that Idlewild won’t be to everyone’s taste. It’s an outrageous patchwork of genres, both musical and cinematic, and it revels in smashing imaginative flights of fancy against well-worn movie tropes. Did I overlook the movie’s jumbled nature? Not at all. Idlewild teems with energy and life and creative juices; I loved it not despite the bricolage but, in part, because of it.