Brighton 4th is a Tragic Look at Immigration

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Brighton 4th review

Overall, the film Brighton 4th is a bit of a mess. It brings the story of a former Georgian wrestler Kakhi who comes to visit his son in the United States. His son Soso, has fallen into gambling debt and Kahki will do whatever it takes to make sure his son is safe and can have the life he wants. The premise of the film, it has a lot of potential, just didn’t live up to what it could be. The end result is a bit disjointed and full of bizarre moments that may leave viewers confused.

In fact, how Brighton 4th is set up will probably lose some viewers along the way. With parts of the movie being more than disconnected and the introduction of characters at random times – it seems part of the story may have been left on the cutting room floor.

But even with that said – there’s something about Brighton 4th that might need to be seen.

Unlike many other Immigrant stories, Brighton 4th doesn’t paint a pretty picture. There’s no candy coating on this coming to America story and the circumstances that the immigrants come to. The “American Dream” isn’t put up idyllically. Instead, we see the struggle that many of the characters deal with since emigrating. From homes that are essentially flophouses with dirty and dingy amenities, bunk beds, and no jobs that they can walk into. The movie shows that it’s not as easy as we would like to believe, or rather as many other movies have us think it is. It’s not just a small struggle on screen, but a day-to-day battle to find their lives and livelihood. And that may include involvement in gambling and other things their family back home may not approve of.

The movie focuses heavily on the father and son relationship and what Kakhi is willing to do so that Soso has a chance to live his life without struggling so much. The reality of Soso’s life can be seen on Kakhi’s face when he arrives at the shared room after flying to get there. Despite the circumstances, Kakhi wants the best for his son.

Would I recommend Brighton 4th to a wide audience? Probably not – the movie is odd, and I’m not sure what audience would receive it well outside of art-house theaters. But I do give it credit for giving a less sugar-coated look at the often untold and overlooked story of immigrants in America.

Overall Rating:

Three Stars Review

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About Brighton 4th:

In this portrait of parental sacrifice and the love of a father for his son, former wrestler Kakhi (played by real-life Olympic champion Levan Tediashvili) embarks on a journey from his home in Tbilisi to visit his son Soso (Giorgi Tabidze) in the Russian-speaking neighborhood of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. There he finds Soso living in a shabby boarding house populated by a colorful group of fellow Georgian immigrants (like most in the cast, played by non-actors). Soso is not studying medicine, as Kakhi believed, but is working for a moving company and has accrued a $14,000 gambling debt to a local Russian mob boss. Kakhi sets his mind to helping his hapless son out of his debt, leading to situations as often absurd as they are dire.

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