We Were Meant To (2022) Short Film Review
Tari Wariebishort feature That’s what we were meant to do unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
It mixes a decidedly engaging frame story with a theme that is undeniably universal, relevant, and sorely underplayed in today’s more artificial style of cinema. A very clever move by Wariebi who co-writes Christina Kingsleigh Licud.
Still, it’s a short film. Risks with story structure are common and sometimes fail because filmmakers try to tell multiple stories in an unsuitable setting. In That’s what we were meant to doa risk hardly recognized by Wariebi, who deeply understands what part of the story will make a difference and sticks to it.
In Akil’s reality, people can fly. Not with capes or mind powers. They are able to grow wings with feathers, and once you get them, the first step comes: take your first flight and survive it.
Akil’s family and community are African-American, and little is said about the world outside the non-physical walls of the community. What we know is flying, not everyone appreciates it well. In some parts it is actually prohibited. This is apparently related to the story of Akil’s father having his wings removed.
That’s what we were meant to do the story of how Akil gets to the most important part of his life. His first flight, his first love, but also the first time he encounters a society that is not as friendly to his race as it should be.
The first question that may arise is: there is That’s what we were meant to do the definitive superhero short you need to see? The answer is simple. It’s nothing like those movies, which tend to have no human value, and the emotional responses have more to do with a culture than a character’s story. Wariebi’s film really stays within the boundaries of our reality. In fact, the first scene shows that it’s Akil’s world in a comic book, and people are flying in it. However, the concept of her story is more related to the growth of an African-American teenager who lives in a society where prejudice is still present, no matter how extraordinary her body is. The shocking ending is of course metaphorical, but the idea of Wariebi’s subtext can also be identified. It has more to do with racism than you might think.
Regardless, That’s what we were meant to do it’s definitely set under an arc that’s fictitious enough to incorporate elements of comedy and tragedy with enough force to keep the statement on top, but without removing the much-needed entertainment aspect. The scene in the gym where Akil tries to control the harness is funny. Tim Johnson Jr. as Akil is perfect and the film wouldn’t work as well with his naive appearance as with the emotionally compelling twist his character is subjected to. Then her sister Akila played again Skye Barrett he is also incredibly good in his role. That’s what we were meant to do it’s much more character-driven than it needs to be, and it’s great. Wariebi is aware of what these movies need, as well as not trying to make a movie like the ones we’ve already covered that is sure to play at the local multiplex.
Oh, and one last thing. The movie looks great. We need to show more of these filmmakers and their teams. I am sure they are capable of making much more impressive films than the usual blockbusters. Imagine what would happen if That’s what we were meant to do should have become a feature film. Well, that’s an idea!