The Communication Process


I chose to analyze a critiquing of Candyman, directed by Nia DeCosta, a movie I just recently enjoyed watching. Vulture‘s review, written by Angelica Jade Bastién, is titled “Candyman Is a Soulless, Didactic Reimagining.” She describes Candyman as the most disappointing film of 2021 thus far. Bastién first critiques the message of the film. She mentions a gruesome scene of two people getting murdered after saying “Candyman” five times in a mirror. The author found no artistry or tension in this scene; she compares it to the rest of the movie, writing, “like the film it’s housed in, this scene glides over intriguing ideas – the white desire born from witnessing Black suffering – but never grapples with the full weight of it.”

Bastién addresses the originator/sender when she points out that the movie was not made for an audience of Black people – she believes the creators had a white audience in mind because it is filled with explanations for things Black people already understand. Based on the director’s debut film Little Woods, the critic determines that DeCosta’s voice is not shown in Candyman. This statement also ties in with the receiver aspect of the communication process. The critic shows her frustration with how she has perceived this movie – she writes, “when Blackness is whittled down, this is the kind of poor cultural product we are sold.” Bastién touches on the medium/channel, clarifying that she thinks Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is a great actor, but the script and direction consistently fail him. The author explains that the geography showed in the film has poor framing, pacing, tension, narrative evolution, and poor color-palette choices.

Bastién uses her critiques of the message, originator/sender, receiver, and medium/channel to support her beliefs about the movie letting down Black audience members, evidently, herself included. It is a well-balanced critique of Candyman, with equal parts of each aspect of the communication process addressed. She summarizes her thoughts by stating, “our feverish desire for change, encouraged by the uprisings of last year, is sanded off and resold as progress for the price of a movie ticket.”