The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) online

Year: 2020
Country: USA
Time: 2h 3min
Director: Radha Blank
The 40-Year-Old Version is a 2020 American comedy film written, directed, and produced by Radha Blank, in her feature directorial debut. It stars Blank, Peter Kim, Oswin Benjamin, and Reed Birney.

Loosely based on Blank's own life, the film sees her playing Radha, a playwright and teacher who turns to rapping when she finds herself nearing her 40th birthday.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020, where Blank won the U.S Dramatic Competition Directing Award, and was released on October 9, 2020, by Netflix.

Radha is a playwright and teacher nearing her 40th birthday and living under the burden of the unfulfilled promise of a 30 under 30 award she won nearly a decade ago. Archie, her agent and friend, gives her latest play Harlem Ave to J. Whitman, a wealthy white producer, who suggests her work needs to focus more on Black suffering. After he offers her a job writing for a Harriet Tubman musical, Radha throttles him. At a loss over what to do with her career, she hears rap music blasting outside her apartment and is inspired to start writing raps, following a passion she developed and abandoned in high school. Tracking down D, a music producer, she invents the name RadhaMUSprime. Her agent believes she is going through a breakdown.

D is initially distant towards her, but after they create a track together, Radha is shocked to find him willing to record a mixtape with her. D also invites Radha to perform at a showcase for up-and-coming rappers. Before the showcase Radha gets high and forgets her lyrics, leading her to humiliate herself in front of a crowd of her students.

Archie uses the recent death of Radha's mother to smooth things over with Whitman, who agrees to produce Harlem Ave. However, he tells her to add a white character to her play. As the play progresses to the workshop stage, Radha increasingly feels uncomfortable with the compromises she is making to appeal to white audiences.

Despite witnessing her bombing on stage, D encourages Radha to continue rapping. After taking her to an all-woman rap battle in the Bronx, the two spend the night together and open up about their lives as struggling artists and the way they are coping with the recent loss of their mothers. However, Radha brushes him off the next morning, telling him he needs to work on her play.
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