November 29, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

One Hand Don't Clap

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Lord Kitchener
director
Kavery Dutta
genre
Musical
We gave it a C+

If you’re not already a fan of Trinidad’s calypso music and its electrified descendant, soca (short for soul-calypso), One Hand Don’t Clap won’t necessarily win you over. Director Kavery Dutta points her camera primarily at calypso pioneer Lord Kitchener, still a rowdy stage performer in his 70s, and Calypso Rose, one of the music’s first female stars. They’re both wonderful, but attempts to get across the sexy, hard-driving wit of modern soca fall flat. That’s especially frustrating during the climactic bandstand competition between David Rudder and Black Stalin, two fiery singers whom Dutta films from the far side of the stage with muffled sound. At one point, Lord Kitchener sings a sweet bit of musical advice: ”Divide de goat from de sheep/Dat’s de only plan/Den you will know who is true Calypsonian.” One Hand Don’t Clap is more than a little sheepish. C+

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