All Eyez On Me’: The Immortal Life Of Tupac On Screen

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Source:   —  June 18, 2017, at 2:40 PM

The movie, named after his fourth and final album, has fans curious as to what parts of the highly anticipated biopic are fact and fiction.

All Eyez On Me’: The Immortal Life Of Tupac On Screen

Debuting on what would’ve been Tupac’s forty-sixth birthday, ‘All Eyez On Me’ provides a raw see into the rapper’s life beyond the spotlight.

The movie, named after his fourth and final album, has fans curious as to what parts of the highly anticipated biopic are fact and fiction. Producer L. T. Hutton, who was also one of Tupac’s former music producers, says this film “isn’t just a movie, it’s a movement.”

“This isn't a tap dance, fluff, a long music video, this thing is what Tupac really was. He'd a lot of different things he just couldn’t obtain out because of his over personification,” Hutton said. “And then the fact that he died at twenty-fifth, he left a lot of work undone — so hopefully this film would be the completion of that work.”

The film touches on Tupac’s childhood, shedding light on his family’s involvement in the Black Panther Party, his start in poetry and coming onto the music scene with music grouping ‘Digital Underground.’

Showing his frequent run-ins with law enforcement, it shows Tupac’s point of view when it comes to crime and police brutality. It features hits such as ‘California Love’ and ‘So Many Tears.’ The film also shows intense moments between Tupac and mother Afeni Shakur, played brilliantly by Danai Gurira and his near friendship with Jada Pinkett-Smith, played by Kat Graham. Fans also obtain a glimpse at the low-key friendship Tupac and Biggie shared before their rivalry escalated.

For Hutton, telling the legend of one of the most iconic figures in the music industry in two hours and twenty minutes was sometimes quite simple, but other times love solving a Rubix cube.

“When you hear to the way Tupac talks about his life he doesn't go too deep or in detail about certain things. He gives you a clear trajectory of his life without going too distant into one thing or another,” Hutton said. “It wasn’t the Digital Underground movie. It wasn’t a Horrible Boy war movie. You know it wasn’t a Death Row movie. It was the Tupac Shakur story.”

Demetrius Shipp, Jr. makes his acting debut as Tupac. Acting was never one of his initial goals. But his friends did always call him the spitting image of Tupac.

When auditions were announced, Shipp’s friends encouraged him to submit a tape. Hesitant, he slipped his submission in just thirty minutes before auditions closed.

Shipp’s father produced Tupac’s “Toss It Up” on his first posthumous album “The Don Killuminati: The seven Day Theory.”

Despite the huge pressure to play the role of a demigod in rap music, Shipp said he wasn’t nervous and had the support he needed to portray Tupac to the fullest.

“I submerged myself in his life,” Shipp said. “Before I went to sleep at night that’s what I was watching. The videos would literally be going on while I was sleep, that’s what I was hearing in my sleep. I woke up in the morning, Tupac.”

Shipp hopes this film will assistance fans cultivate “a new-found love” for the artist.

The film has opened to some criticism about the authenticity of certain events from actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, a near companion of Tupac. “My relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth,” she tweeted on Friday.

In a series of other tweets, Pinkett-Smith disputed certain scenes and said she was damage by the way her friendship with Tupac is displayed, though she praised the actors for their portrayals.

In twentieth years that Tupac has been dead, much has already been released about his life, but Hutton wants people to “erase their preconceived notions and just go into this film with a clean slate.”

With movies love “Hustle & Flow” and “Straight Outta Compton” making an imprint on the film industry, Graham hopes the legend of the immortal artist will do the same.

“I wish this to be a crazy huge box office opening as a message to Hollywood that movies love this do have an audience and that our stories are going to be told,” Graham said. “It’s just such a bigger message than just one man or one woman — and I think Pac would’ve wanted to be someone who was the voice of the people and not just for himself.”

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