• Ashvin

[Review] 'Guava Island' is an Energetic Modern Musical

“America is a concept.”


GUAVA ISLAND is a fun and delightful film about revolution and rebellion.


Intoxicating and stimulating, Hiro Murai’s feature directorial debut blends an inspiring narrative with the free-flowing individuality of Donald Glover’s music.

Glover is eccentric as the film’s bohemian lead, Deni, embracing and exhibiting his naturally nonconformist independence and free spirit. His drive to free his island of their conformist and traditionalist way of life due to oppression with his music is what keeps the film alive and beating.


Rihanna plays Kofi, Deni’s musical inspiration who also happens to be his girlfriend. She drives in a solid performance, abridging the longing feeling of escape and freedom.

A short yet impactful film, serving as an impressive feature film debut for Japanese-American director Hiro Murai, following his direction of the comedy-drama series Atlanta, in which he also collaborated with Donald Glover. Murai’s history of collaborations with Glover manifests in the impressive nature of his feature debut, displaying the chemistry between the director and the actor-musician.


Despite the short run-time, it was able to clearly talk about ideas of rebellion and complete a simple yet meaningful arc with Glover’s character and the island. It’s artistic prowess and creativity really showcases its variation from the other films released this year, so far.


Score: ★★★★

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