Biopics can prove challenging at times; the difficulty lies in striking the right balance between accuracy, respect, and narrative drama. After watching Straight Outta Compton – a new biopic about the rise of rap group N.W.A and her late father Easy-E – E.B Wright has a strong opinion towards the film – and it’s a positive one.
In a recent interview with NBC News, Wright praised Straight Outta Compton's depiction of the formation of N.W.A – especially noting the exemplary performance of actor Jason Mitchell. She said:
He did a phenomenal job. I’m so incredibly proud. All my life I’ve been hearing these stories. Jason is everything I imagined [my father] to be … I really felt like I was watching him on the screen.
However, despite her praise for the film, she has taken umbrage with certain details. On her Twitter account she made note that the film omitted several important aspects of her father’s storyline – such as his discovery of rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – in favor of a focus on Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. From an artistic standpoint, she also voiced her opinions as to what songs should have played during pivotal moments in the film.
Her reservations notwithstanding, she still proclaimed that Straight Outta Compton effectively told the overall story of N.W.A, and expressed pride towards the completed project. She also noted on her Twitter that while Straight Outta Compton makes for excellent drama, she currently has an N.W.A documentary of her own – titled A Ruthless Scandal: No More Lies – in development.
She’s not alone in her opinion, as Straight Outta Compton has become a surprise hit, raking in a box-office gross of $56 million in its opening weekend – the highest ever for a musician biopic. Straight Outta Compton really had a lot going against it; with the film’s events – and many of those who partook in them – still alive in recent memory, the filmmakers had to tread lightly with regards to balancing accuracy with respect for those involved. Many biopics, such as 2008’s W, don’t take a hard enough look at those they portray, and end up falling flat. When we consider this, along with the necessary extra security at screenings, and the tough, relevant social questions posted by the film, it’s impressive that it has done so well.
Straight Outta Compton hit theaters on August 14 and has spent the weekend at number one.