We all love having someone to talk to, or someone to listen. Talking through things has gotten the world through many, many crises. Perhaps this is why radio talk shows are so popular: they give us a place to be heard, or to hear what others are saying, or just to participate in a process (dialogue, chatting, venting) that is crucial to making progress—or just making sense—of the crazy world we live in.
Talk to Me is about this process, and the liberating experience of giving voice to the thoughts and concerns of the soul—however gritty or painful they may be to express.
The pseudo-biopic film, directed by Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) follows Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene (Don Cheadle) as he rises from the ghetto (literally: prison) to radio and comedic stardom in Washington, D.C. In jail on an armed-robbery charge, Greene entertains his fellow convicts on the prison radio system, eventually using his popularity and quick wit to bring about an early end to his sentence. Once outside of jail, Greene cons a radio station programmer, Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), into giving him a chance on air at WOL, "a respectable R&B" AM radio station in the nation's capital. Greene horrifies the station manager (Martin Sheen) with his "tell it like it is" attitude and propensity to attract the censors, but soon Greene's morning show is the station's most popular, with Greene himself quickly becoming the populist voice of urban D.C.
The film takes a look at Greene's success through the lens of the turbulent racial and political context in which he rose to fame. He filled a need for his listeners—a straight talker for the disenfranchised and disillusioned, in an age when nothing was certain and no talk (especially in D.C.) ...1