Writer: August Wilson (Screenplay) August Wilson (Play)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sideny
Plot: A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Brilliant Performances
Story: Fences starts as we meet Troy Maxson (Washington) a working class African-American who along with his best friend Jim Bono (Henderson) and his wife Rose Maxson (Davis) who have earnt everything they have up to the 1950s America.
We follow how Troy goes through everyday life with his estranged eldest son Lyons (Hornsby), his ambitious son who could get a chance of a better life at college Cory (Adepo) but Troy doesn’t want him to waste his time instead only get a job like he had to and his disabled brother Gabriel (Williamson) who Troy has cared for after his injuries during the war.
Thoughts on Fences
Story – This is a story of everyday life in 1950s America for an African American family as they go through the struggles of the younger generation be accepted in the world more than their father did as we see this tension between the two generations because Troy stopping his children following their dreams. Each struggle has different consequences for our characters that reflect the next decisions they make.
Drama – When it comes to the genres being used this is completely just a drama where we get to see how the characters look at their life decisions and how they affect the loved ones in each other lives.
Characters/Performances – The characters here are all very believable with Troy being a guy that you can believe has thought and worked for everything he has got out of his own life in a time when he wouldn’t have gotten many chance, Rose is the wife that has been faithful, supporting through all his strict rules. The children both show the ambition the next generation would have be it through music or sports trying to break free of the strict rules their father gave them. When you look at the performance Washington is breath-takingly good, Davis shines on a par with Denzel with two of what would be the best performances of the year. I also think all the supporting performances are great never looking out of place next to the heavyweight performances.
Settings – The film keeps nearly all the scene in and around the house with the film relaying on the speeches going on through each scene which shows us just how this is about family.
Final Thoughts – While I can see this is very much play with the story unfolding and the performances are just WOW this is an engrossing two and quarter hours of time that never drops the ball.
Overall: Performance heavy film that is easily one of the films of the year.