Unforgettable Classic: Drumline

Two Sundays ago, I decided to go through my movie library and came across this classic 2002 movie titled Drumline which stars a younger Nick Canon (now Mariah Carey’s hubby) as the young
drummer from New York who gains admission into a University, joins the school’s drum band section and has to confront obstacles such as the band leader, his music education as well as his own haughty self-confidence and attitude.

The movie is an interesting flick with powerful messages that border on leadership and self-discipline. The story carries so much substance that it could equally be used as a motivational tool to teach youths a lesson.

Nick Canon plays Devon Miles, a struggling youth who with his Mum’s support against all odds manages to graduate from high school and make it to the fictional Atlanta A & T University, a historically black college that takes enormous pride in its marching band. Devon being a talented drummer looks forward to joining the band and from later progression of the story, we learn that Dr.Lee, the head of the band had actually invited Devon on scholarship over to the University based on his prodigious drumming talent.

Nick Canon as Devon Miles

Devon’s cocky attitude and disposition that he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the A&T band becomes a glaring flaw that not only threatens his band membership but also his relationship with Laila (played by a younger Zoe Saldana), a cheerleader with the band and fraternity sister who happens to be his love interest.

Devon has to contend with the band leader Sean Taylor (played by Leonard Roberts) who can’t stand his lone ranger approach to things. When the rift between them eventually goes too far, it results in tragic consequences for Devon and embarrassing disposition for Sean.
Sean (Leonard Roberts) in a dramatic personal faceoff with Devon (Nick Canon)

The play of tension rising between the two young men was beautifully directed by Charles Stone III. The characters are real and it gets to a point when Devon begins to piss you off with his attitude and you watch how it eventually leads to his fall. He attempts to redeem himself by joining a rival band from another college but when he sees the dirty trick in the offing as a result of joining the rival band, his conscience won’t let him go all the way. Here we see the humanness of Devon coming to fore.
Laila (Zoe Saldana), Devon's love interest. 

Underneath that cocky attitude, he still had a heart and a conscience. This was where Devon began the journey of change; from the lofty heights of destructive pride to the honorable depths of humility and responsibility. The next steps he took lead to the path of redemption.

Apart from the beautiful and realistic interpretation of Devon’s transition of change, the movie also has powerful adrenalin pumping moments of marching band performances and displays which climaxes with the faceoff with the rival band of Morris Brown College at the end of the film.

Devon with his band members at boot camp

Nick Canon does a fine job playing Devon Miles with his street-smart demeanor and arrogant boldness. Leonard Roberts was also impressive as Sean Taylor, the band leader at loggerheads with Devon; his dedication and insistence on teamwork and the ways of the drumline made his character shine. You couldn’t help but pity him for the consistent disrespect he got from Devon.

Dr. Lee (Orlando Jones) chides the band over Devon's indiscipline

Orlando Jones as Dr Lee, plays the character beautifully as the head of the band whose integrity for musicianship will not allow him to compromise his standards.

Zoe Saldana part as Laila had its own importance in the movie as she serves as a convincing factor to Devon’s decision making; she gives drops a word of thought or two that gets Devon thinking and taking steps.

Devon's band, Atlanta A&T in faceoff
with rival band from Morris Brown College

I’m not surprised that the movie gathered some awards and received a lot of positive reviews. It’s a movie I can never grow tired of. I seldom watch movies more than once but this one is most definitely a must watch any time any day. Especially the classic face-off between Atlanta A&T Band (Devon’s Band) and the Morris Brown College Band towards the end of the film.

If you haven’t seen Drumline at all, believe me, you’ve missed out. It’s a movie worth watching again and again. The trailer didn't even do enough justice to the awesomeness  movie.


4 Screamer(s):

Myne Whitman said...

I loved this movie! My first introduction to Nick Cannon and Zoe Saldana. Wow, see how time flies :)

'Lara A said...

I am sure I have seen this movie before but then i would love to watch it again...great movies were made back in the days.

simply mee said...

I love the movie! The last scene during the competition was my fav. We were on the edge of the seat as we watched... come see I and hubby hooting as if we were there.....we watched it several times.

Yes, it is a clasic!

Afronuts said...

@Myne...yeah. It was my first intro to Nick too.

@Lara A...You got that very right!

@Simplymee...you saw it too? My sister u sabi correct movie then