Tuesday, August 20, 2013
#31WriteNow: A Movie Review
The conversation of Blackness has been a hot button issue lately. Race has been a topic of discussion. Lee Daniels tackles race from a different viewpoint. I went into this film with a totally open mindset. This is completely different from the way I approached "The Help." I was dead set against that film for so many reasons. I did not watch it in the theaters. I did not watch "The Help" until after I was challenged to read the book. Which I did and I liked it. I was surprised. I couldn't wait to watch the movie. I enjoyed it. For that reason alone, I knew I had to keep my mind and eyes open when watching this film. "The Butler" stars Forrest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Cuba Gooding Jr., YaYa Alafia, and Lenny Kravitz in prominent roles. The movie is told through the eyes of a man, Cecil Gaines, born a slave who lived his life as a servant. This film examines the historic role of one man's extraordinary life in the White House.
Oprah plays Cecil's wife Gloria Gaines. She is a stay at home Mom of two boys. Throughout the film, the audience watches her go through so much almost silently. I loved her character because she felt so real. Oprah was really good in this film. Other standouts were Lenny Kravitz who also plays a butler in the White House. Every person int . David Banner and Mariah Carey played Cecil's parents in the opening scene. I have a few issues with Mariah's character. One being that she had no lines and served no purpose. Whitaker was simply amazing in his role. As was Oyelowo who played Louis, Cecil's oldest son. The core of the movie is a struggle between father and son. Both men have different views as to how to deal with the oppression of Black people in the 60's. Their struggle makes for a strained relationship for most of the movie. To me, the most pivotal scene is the one where the Father finally sees the son's point of view.
I loved the inclusion of the Black Panthers in this film. They played a huge role in history. The scope of this film includes a unique look at former presidents. I loved the look into the JFK era and the Reagan era. The actor who plays Reagan is amazing. The storyline was so intriguing. I laughed, smiled, and cried during the viewing. I do not remember the last time a film evoked so many emotions out of me. It was simply a great film. It was the number one film of the weekend. Which I think is awesome. When I went to see it, the theater was packed at 10am on a Saturday morning. The crowd was mostly Black but there were a good amount of White people there as well. At the end, there was an out pour of applause from the audience. Go see it.