Watch: Donald Glover + Rihanna In 'Guava Island' (2019)

on Saturday, April 13, 2019
Words: Saam Das

It seems that every week, a new shake-up emerges in terms of cinematic release mechanisms and 'Guava Island' is this week's pioneering film. Conceived by creative polymath Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) and his 'Atlanta'-directing collaborator Hiro Murai, musical drama 'Guava Island' premiered at this weekend's Coachella Festival in the States before landing on Amazon Prime - and better yet, is available to watch for free for all users for a (very) limited time.

Seemingly inspired by Fyre Festival as much as Fernando Meirelles' breathtaking 'City Of God', 'Guava Island' stars Glover as Deni, a dock worker who seeks to put on a music festival and free the titular island's workers from their oppressive daily grind. Rihanna (as Deni's partner, Kofi) and Letitia Wright ('Black Panther') appear in supporting roles, but this is very much the Donald Glover show.

In fact, clocking in at well under an hour and including a vivid opening animation, 'Guava Island' does come across somewhat as a Childish Gambino album trailer, with tracks like 'This Is America' (whose Grammy Award-winning video was also directed by Murai) and 'Summertime Magic' incorporated into the storyline. As a result, there's something of Prince's 1984 'Purple Rain' or Michael Jackson's 1988 'Moonwalker' to the film.

Glover is a charismatic screen presence but it's a shame that Rihanna and in particular, Wright, are underused - no doubt, due to the all-too-brief running time. It's perhaps also a testament to the immersive (and at times, carnival) atmosphere of 'Guava Island' that we want to spend more time with these characters. As Deni states while looking out at waves slowly crashing into the land, in a beautifully sun-kissed glow, "you can't be mad at that".


Watch 'Guava Island' for free on Amazon Prime for a very limited time, after which it will be available for subscribers.

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