'Anything’s Possible' film review: Worth a watch, but...
Anything’s Possible shows a lot of heart, especially when it comes to matters of representation
LGBTQIA icon Billy Porter’s directorial debut, Anything’s Possible, would have become just another high-school romance drama, except that the story is being told from the perspective of a Black trans girl, making all the difference. Animal-loving Kelsa (Eva Reign), a proud and open Black trans teen girl, has two besties — Chris and Em. Kelsa hails from a progressive household helmed by her single mother. Just like any other coming-of-age drama, Kelsa develops feelings for her batchmate Khal (Abubakr Ali) and he reciprocates. The plot is about the challenges they face, and Kelsa’s sexual learnings in the process.
The film shows a lot of heart, especially when it comes to matters of representation. It navigates intersectionality, especially when Kelsa’s identity is constantly shamed by a Cis-Het Black male.
Roping in Reign, a Black trans woman herself, to play Kelsa, is a casting masterstroke. In instances where it is alleged that Kelsa has a “mental disorder” or is framed by a jealous Em for “bringing male energy to assault her”, the film gives us periodic reminders that transphobia is widely prevalent, even in places
we least expect.
Another highlight of Anything’s Possible is the exploration of the nuances of all their characters. The Khal-Kelsa relationship is not painted with broad strokes. As much as we learn about Kelsa’s problems, we learn about Khal’s too. He has to shorten his name from Khalid to make things easier for himself. Kelsa’s fauna-fascination is also beautifully interwoven in the narrative, and she chooses to represent herself as a Marsh harrier; some of the male birds undergo metamorphosis to resemble the female of the species.
Anything’s Possible, however, suffers from a lack of high points. The little excitement it possesses comes from the high-school drama template, which includes ideas like a best friend becoming jealous and the boilerplate struggles of teenage romance. There are many interesting characters though, but they are largely given a raw deal.
Even the family angle in Khal and Kelsa’s lives doesn’t round off properly. We get stray bits of information about them and their families, and little comes off in the larger picture. And so, after a point, Anything’s Possible becomes a tad tedious, but thanks to solid performances and having its heart in the right place, the film is definitely worth a watch.