Reel Shorts | Play the Devil

by Charles Kirkland, Jr.

This drama is a Bahamian import from director Maria Govan that is another coming-of-age story.

Gregory is a promising high school student who lives with his grandmother and older brother, Fayne, in a small shack in the center of the island. Gregory’s grandmother anticipates his entrance into college to study to be a doctor. Gregory has just finished acting in a play at school and has desires to be a photographer. Enter James, a wealthy businessman, and father to one of the girls in the play. James takes a liking to Gregory and wishes to help him with his desires. After one shocking but not surprising moment, Gregory begins challenging everything around him, his family, his faith, and his desire.

Play The Devil is one boy’s journey through the discovery and definition of friendship, love, masculinity and trust that winds its way from humble beginnings at a school play to its raucous conclusion at Carnival.

The moving has a few pacing problems and a couple of plot holes but is an insightful story that holds its center from beginning to end. Thankfully, Govan uses subtitle translations in some places when the island language is a slightly unrecognizable. With a very deliberate pace, Play The Devil leaves its viewers with more questions when it reaches its conclusion.

Grade: C-