It’s a movie about a rapper trying to make it in the music industry for the sake of her family. Oh but it is about so much more. Jenni Rivera’s name might be the loudest you will hear repeated over and over about this film. And rightfully so. The Late Diva De La Banda gives a very earnest performance in this her first and only participation in a full length feature film.
But Filly Brown is definitely not Don Juan De Marco. You know that one and only film Selena participated in as herself.
In Filly Brown we find a Jenni who is anything but the larger than life superstar mother and entrepreneur we came to know and love. Jenni’s Maria, the drug addicted mother who’s in jail serving 10 years for drug charges, is mean and ruthless manipulating her daughter for the sake of her own drug addiction.
And while you wouldn’t think so this gritty and gut wrenching performance turns out to be quite an emotional final farewell to Jenni Rivera on film. There is one final scene at the end with her and her character’s family that had almost everyone in the theater balling.
Unintentionally Filly Brown becomes an ominous final look at the raw and real personality that was Jenni Rivera. I can’t say enough about how emotional it is to see her in this role on the silver screen.
The film’s star Gina Rodriguez also gives a knockout performance as the tough, but very soft hearted Filly Brown. Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips also star in the film. The big breakout star of the film for me was Houston’s own Chingo Bling. Bling’s garage music label manager character is hilarious. Under any other circumstances he might have stolen the entire film.
In the end Filly Brown is a universal story about a family struggling with drug addiction, individual relationships and an overall broken home. It’s not a pretty subject matter but one that’s very real for so many and that we don’t see portrayed in an honest way very often.
Filly Brown opens in theaters across the nation on April 19th.