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Mickey Hardaway (2023)Review

Mickey Hardaway (Drama) (2023)


Director: Marcellus Cox

Writer: Marcellus Cox

Stars: Rashad Hunter, Stephen Cofield Jr., Ashley Parchment, Dennis L.A. White

Growing up with an abusive father, an aspiring sketch artist’s lifelong ambitions lead him to dire straits. He tells his story to a well-renowned psychiatrist hoping to quell his unrelenting demons.

Having developed a vast array of short films in the past, such as: ‘’Rise Up’’ and ‘’Love’’.
Marcellus Cox presents his feature debut with the extended version of his short ‘’Mickey Hardaway’’. An intense and relatable tale of familial abuse, society and the effects thereof. It’s a low-budget project produced by Marcellus Cox, Eric Quincy and Armando Townsend, currently showing at film festivals.

Suffering through many hardships, Mickey Hardaway (Rashad Hunter) dreams of becoming successful as a sketch artist. These aspirations have been suppressed from his youth, with barely a glimpse of light as his personal demons appear to overpower him in a constant struggle. Visiting a well-renowned psychiatrist, as suggested by his girlfriend, might be his only saving grace.

Telling a familiar tale to many dreamers and even people who made successful careers from creative endeavours. ‘’Mickey Hardaway’’ shows the harmful effects of unsupportive and abusive behaviour in a vicious cycle of modern-day society.

Serving as a red thread, Rashad Hunter’s Mickey Hardaway recounts his life and the adversity therein to his psychiatrist Cameron Harden (Stephen Cofield Jr.). Cleverly filmed in black and white, distinctively serves as a profound metaphor for the downward spiral Mickey finds himself in rather than a stylistic choice.

Initial dialogue between Parchment’s Grace and Mickey provides touching moments, especially since we’ve seen rudiments of future events. Telling tragedy through flashbacks has the intended effect, and genuinely well-written diamonds of dialogue can be found throughout Cox’s work, despite spasms and hiccups from developing actors. These constant shifts between flashbacks and the psychiatric consults endure due to crafty editing. However, more consistency would’ve provided a sharper result which could be an effect of this being the extended version of a previously established short.

Provided with Cox’s debut feature, and it being such a compelling showing at that. His vision and close personal attachment to the script shine through, although further nuance within characters and dialogue might’ve improved the film. As a creative decision, the abuse and degradation of Mickey’s mental well-being were hammered home—despite being fond of bleak storytelling, some highlighting of the positives could’ve provided a slightly more dynamic film.

Despite criticism, this is intelligent filmmaking suffering under budget, but Cox’s vision is as clear as Mickey’s talent as a sketch artist.


Certainly not taking the mick!