Ludi is the 2021 indie drama film directed by Edson Jean, which played at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. Written by Edson Jean and Joshua Jean-Baptiste, Ludi is the story of a young immigrant in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood who works hard in search of success in America.
The main character. The protagonist is a Haitian immigrant who works hard as a nurse to support her family back in Haiti. Ludi picks up extra shifts whenever she can, but desperation pushes her to break the rules and pick up additional work outside the nursing home. Navigating sneaky co-workers, manipulative neighbors, difficult clients, and her body's natural limits, Ludi goes against the odds in an attempt to find her American success story. All that Ludi is is embodied and brought to life by Shein Mompremier. She's a hardworking woman with the world on her shoulders who still manages to tackle her day’s issues with a positive outlook. Shein Mompremier epitomizes Ludi’s good attitude towards life.
Topic and Plot.Ludi is another look at immigrants striving for the American dream. This kind of movie is so prevalent and powerful because it resonates with such a large portion of the American population. Unfortunately, it says nothing new about immigrants pursuing a better life in the United States. If Ludi had better plotting, it could have been more fleshed out. Unfortunately, the film misses clear plot points and fails to outline an intelligible beginning, middle, and end. As a result, the events in Ludi each happen without much rhyme or reason.
Visuals. The film is severely lacking in visuals. The indoor sets are all lacking decoration and color. The hospital walls are all bare and painted a dark beige. The color grading makes it look like a Made-for-TV movie or a soap opera. Ludi overwhelmingly favors close-up shots — even at times when it seemed inappropriate. The bright side is that close-up shots hide the dark and unsightly backgrounds. In stark contrast, the natural outdoor locations in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood are very well-shot. There are moments set to music in which Little Haiti looks like a photo album — these were much more visually appealing.
Ludi's great main actor is not enough to save an under-baked script.