By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Nineteen-year-old Rain (Brooklyn Sudano) is the ultimate golden child with good grades and graces. Sweet and demure, kind and caring, she is an aspiring musician who sings in her local church choir in the inner city projects where she lives with her mother Latisha (Khandi Alexander), younger sister Beni (Jerrika Hinton), her brother Roy (Julius Washington) and an abusive father played by Giancarlo Esposito. When Beni unwittingly becomes involved with the neighborhood gangsters, she turns to Rain for help. In an attempt to aid her littler sister, Rain tragically becomes a witness in a horrific crime and thus becomes a threat to the local gang members. In a bid to protect Rain, who also discovers she was adopted, Latisha turns to Rain’s biological mother and she is placed in the home of her wealthy white grandmother (Faye Dunaway) who aids in her emergence as a talented singer and musician.
An adaptation of the hugely popular V.C. Andrews novel, "Rain" slightly deviates from the actual novel and despite decent acting and direction has a few flaws. To its credit, it has a brilliant start but somewhat sags midway, and as the thread starts to unravel it offers little solution to the loopholes which seem to appear. Far fetched in parts, with a spate of over acting by over zealous gangsters thrown in to spice up an otherwise clear cut and predictable tale, it has the potential to be a groundbreaking drama.
Sudano, (daughter of music legend Donna Summer) who makes her onscreen debut as Rain is a very talented actress and musician and we are introduced to her musical talents in various scenes, for armed with her guitar she repeatedly belts the same song which gets a tad tiresome – we get the drift and know she has great vocal cords. Esposito as the abusive father plays his part remarkably well, as expected, but is limited to only a few scenes whilst Dunaway as the stoic grandmother reprises her role in the movie "Mommie Dearest."
A cute flick with minor flaws, there are no surprises in this predictable tale of tolerance and acceptance.
Rain is available on DVD.