You never age out of your passion. From writer and director Radha Blank and producer Lena Waithe comes a fresh New York tale on Netflix.

40 Year Old Version
40 Year Old Version
Image credit: Netflix

A quick scroll through the comments section on the trailer for this film and it’s clear that the idea of a 40-year-old female forging a new career as a Hip-Hop artist is new territory for some people. To be fair, it doesn’t appear to be that common in real life either. But it’s a premise that is certainly refreshing. A story about a Black woman that’s not centred around the usual tropes about slavery, man problems or a crazy/sassy persona is what we are looking for.

A telling line in the film completely resonates: “What do I gotta do? Write a slave musical, an all-white play? This is some b*llsh*t!”

“What do I gotta do? Write a slave musical, an all-white play? This is some b*llsh*t!”

The Forty-Year-Old Version [see what they did there?] tells the story of Radha, a down-on-her-luck NY playwright, who is desperate for a breakthrough before she turns 40. Having previously made a sought after “30 Under 30” list as a promising playwright, things haven’t quite gone to plan and when she foils what seems like her last shot at success, she’s left with no choice but to reinvent herself as rapper RadhaMUSPrime. The Forty-Year-Old Version follows Radha as she vacillates between the worlds of Hip Hop and theatre on a quest to find her true voice.

40 Year Old Version
40 Year Old Version
Image credit: Netflix

Fans of Insecure will love the splotches of awkwardness and nerdiness on offer in this hilariously candid and deeply personal debut from writer/director Radha Blank. However, to use a popular catchphrase from Gina Yashere, “Under 30’s, don’t even bother!” Not everyone will appreciate seeing this unique new perspective of a beautiful Black woman, navigating the next stage of her life, all shot in lush black and white too. But that’s okay. We get it.

The film, which has already won the Directing Prize at The 2020 Sundance Film Festival, is released on Netflix on 9 October 2020.


Watch The Forty-Year-Old Version trailer

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