The Barber Shop In the movie, “The Barbershop”, we gain insight into the life of Calvin Jr. as he struggles with the day to day operations of managing a failing business. Calvin is a business owner of a local business called Calvin’s Barber Shop, which he inherited from his grandfather who passed it down to his father who then left it to Calvin. From the beginning of the movie we see that the barbershop is much more than just a shop, in fact it’s the ethnic gathering place of the entire block and an iconic cornerstone of the community. To many it signifies tradition, hope, longevity, and most importantly the past accomplishments of a strong black man’s hard work in an ever diversifying community. Above all, this text will venture into the analysis of two specific elements of the film’s culture, setting, and depiction of interracial relations: the barber shop as a gathering place and the setting of the movie depicting a traditional melting pot.
The community depicted in the movie can be described as a melting pot of sorts because in it there are many races, genders, and generations of minorities interacting and supporting one another. In the film, the opening scene shows a post robbery scene of a new mini mart that has just opened in the neighborhood. Calvin sees the anguish of the new store owner and he gestures a united fist and tells him to “stay strong.” Calvin later goes to the shop and the owner, who is an Indian immigrant, thanks him for his “kind words” and even gives him a free tab on his order. Calvin is surprised by the impact of his small gesture, and the toll that it had on the store owner. Likewise, we see various instances of interracial tensions that exist within the very walls of the shop. From the various conflicts between Jimmy and Isaac, which arise from Jimmy’s feelings that Isaac has essentially caricatured his culture and is mocking all black people by the way he presents himself. This example of interracial tension is an ideal example of the types of problems and issues that exists within a diverse community in which white people are the minority. However, we later learn that Isaac is genuine in his representation of his self and isn’t “trying to be” anyone. Nonetheless, we see that the setting of the movie resembles a melting pot of races, opinions, and generations they all mesh together.
Now while a barbershop is typically known as a place to get a haircut, this shop served as a gathering center for various types of people in the community. In the film, the conversations could range anywhere from famous voluptuous women, to politics, all the way to the status of the black culture and the current state of the world. However, in the midst of senseless debate, rambling, and babbling we see that the barbershop is committed to