The Hate U Give (2018)

Director: George Tillman Jr

Writer: Audrey Wells (Screenplay) Angie Thomas (Novel)

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie, Issa Rae, Common, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter

 

Plot: Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.


Tagline – Two worlds, one voice, no going back

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict The Biggest Eye Opener of the Year

 

Story: The Hate U Give starts as Starr (Stenberg) introduces us to everything in her life, her high school life away from the rough neighbourhood she is from, with her father Maverick (Hornsby) the former gangster and mother Lisa (Hall) who wants to get out of the neighbourhood too. She is the eldest of her siblings and has become a normal high student who is prepared for the worst.

Starr does find herself trapped between two worlds, the one where she grew up in and the one she is now growing up, this however changes for her forever, when a routine pull over by the police see her childhood friend Khalil (Smith) fatal shot. Starr in the aftermath must battle the social consequences of what happened with Starr being put in the middle of the investigation to what happened and putting her in the position to make her voice heard.

 

Thoughts on The Hate U Give

 

Characters – Starr is your normal high school student from so called wrong side of town, she lives in two worlds, one she grew up in with friends, the other is her escape with her high school giving her potential of a new life. When she becomes the only witness for her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer. Needing to keep her involvement secret she is dealing with the new wave of feelings and emotions that she must learn to control for the greater good. Everything we see is from her point of view which shows us just how a teenager can view what is going on within the neighbourhood. Lisa is Starr’s mother that wants to keep her daughter safe and out of the gangland mentality she sees around her family. Maverick is Starr’s father, he used to be part of the gangs and after his time behind bars, he escaped that life, being wise towards his family, preparing them for any incidents with the police. King is drug lord controlling the area, he has let Maverick out of his gang and this latest death brings his attention as his business will be put at risk.

PerformancesAmandla Stenberg in the leading role is fantastic, she is on another level to everyone else in the film as she must show her the problems she is facing and handles them all to help us understand her characters thought process. The whole cast are great in this film, Russell Hornsby gets the intense speech moments which grab our attention and for all the years we have questioned Common’s acting, here he shows that he has worked to improve himself and it is paying off.

StoryThe story here will give everyone who watches it a conversation they need to have, about how a death that never needed to happen. The story is told through the eyes of teenager Starr which helps us understand how she wants to see people seen as equals and how the divide between the black and white communities is massive. This story has so many talking points about what has been happening and it does use the correct characters to get points over with including a black police officer telling Starr the thought process of a police officer pulling over a car. Any story that give the audience questions to ask afterwards is an achievement in storytelling which should be praised, it is one that will stick with you long after it finishes.

CrimeThe movie starts with a major crime, the shooting of the high school student, it shows how the tension has risen with the crime that changed a neighbourhood.

SettingsThe film does an excellent job of showing the different neighbourhoods, the one Starr lives in and the one she attends school in, this reflects between the characters interactions.


Scene of the Movie –
The Hate We Give.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of a proper investigation.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most important films of the year, it has a message people need to learn about if they ever want to see change in the world.

 

Overall: Important eye opener.

Rating

 

 

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Fences (2016)

fencsDirector: Denzel Washington

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

 

StoryThis 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.

DramaWhen 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/PerformancesThe 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.

SettingsThe 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 ThoughtsWhile 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.

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