Now gather ‘round kids, and pay attention to this spectacle

We’re dealing with an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival

A film written by Alex Larsen, directed by Joseph Kahn

A director who’s done music videos for some of your favorite songs

Bodied is a satire set in the world of competitive battle rap

Adam Merkin, played by Calum Worthy, becomes accidentally entrapped

He’s a progressive grad student with a skeptical bae

He lies about battles to keep his night events away from his day

Bodied, TIFF, Battle Rap, Battle, Rap, Joseph Kahn, Hip Hop, Toronto International Film Festival

Adam meets Behn Grym, played by Jackie Long, a master of this skill

As Adam’s mentor, he fuels the feeling that battle rap is a thrill

Adam climbs up the ranks, his friends notice his time is occupied

It gets pointed out that his presence makes the battle underground gentrified

So focused on ensuring his battle rap career gets some traction,

Adam learns the hard way there’s consequences to his controversial actions


Bodied is a visual stunner, showcasing battles with special effects

It gives a gritty look of where these artistic showdowns are set

Where it succeeds is the writing, and the rhymes it has in store

With special appearances from renowned battle rappers galore

Worthy nails Adam, his awkward, privileged talent shines

Long is also believable as rapper Behn, the way he emphasizes his lines

Another standout piece is the film’s diversity

Adding more authentic layers to this world while they’re facing adversity

Bodied, TIFF, Battle Rap, Battle, Rap, Joseph Kahn, Hip Hop, Toronto International Film Festival

This film does have flaws, one of which I’ll name

Teach With Films!

We don’t see growth from Adam after he co-opts the battle rap game

They set up the film to point out that Adam is a white privileged mess

However, he still gains the biggest success

It’s contradictory to have laid bare your gentrifying by everyone near

While your success is celebrated by your marginalized peers

The film does attempt to rectify this by making it clear

That in the end, Adam loses the relationships he holds the most dear


In a sea of TIFF winners and losers, Bodied is a certified win

With characters who’s struggles put the viewers in a tailspin

With its effects, its lighting, its cast and crew

Bodied’s authentic voice truly shines through