Sex, Lies and Blackmail: Jamaican Drama ‘Force Ripe’

Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer

Plot: A teenage girl tries to hide her pregnancy from her strict mother.

Review: By the plot synopsis you can pretty much guess most of what happens in new Jamaican film Force Ripe, a term which refers to a fruit that unnaturally ripens and also a young person acting in an adult manner. In this movie from Ackeen Lawrence we have a “force ripe” teen who sleeps with a man and becomes pregnant despite the warnings from her mother and a friend. She then contemplates what to do with the pregnancy and her future. Yeah, you’ve heard this tale many, many times before.

So what’s different here? Despite its PSA-ready theme Force Ripe plays it very straight with little moralising. The “sex scene” is awkward and looks like it was choreographed by an alien with a passing knowledge of human copulation. The cinematography is about what you would expect, though there is an odd penchant for shooting up at some trees. The music is also incongruously jaunty and funky.

On the story, it abruptly switches halfway to focus on a character heavy in debt to a menacing guy and his schemes to acquire the money. It is a bit jarring but it does tie back into the main story. The main reason to watch the film is the mother character, as I found her increasingly creative berating of her daughter hilarious. A couple of notes, the film is in Jamaican patois with no subtitles, and it ends with “to be cont” (sic) meaning at least another part is planned. Not the best ultra low budget Caribbean film I’ve seen, but not the worst either.

Score: 4 out of 10

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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.

You can watch Force Ripe for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more Jamaican content below:

SPRINTER TAKES GOLD IN THREE SLICES
MY VOTE IS A TWISTY CRIME DRAMA
CARIBBEAN SITCOM ‘HOUSE OUTTA ORDER’ IS OUTTA TIMIN’