For this post I shall inherit being blunt and to the point. I believe it will serve the purpose.
Yesterday a neighborfriend asked if I wanted to join her in viewing “The Help”. I obliged and I am glad I did.
Originally I had a take on the movie and it was as vivid as me seeing the cover of the book at my local book nook about a month back. Because it struck a place in me I overlooked it. When I stumbled across a blog post that showcased an interview with R&B icon Mary J. Blige about the movie I reconsidered. I did so because she spoke of being asked to write and perform a song for the soundtrack. She went on to say that she watched the movie for inspiration first and how what stood out to her the most was the unity amongst “The Help”. It instilled some sort of hope in me.
After seeing the film yesterday I can honestly say I was pleased and here is why.
1. The Cast- First off the mere fact that there were three major leads in the story definitely contributed to it being compelling. As with most all stories, this one did a fine job of painting the picture of the “whole family” in the “whole town” with the assistance of strong supporting roles. Each character was unremittingly displayed. The director, Tate Taylor, is believed to have done a very thorough job of actuating each actor in their total character. The cast selection is raved to have made a majority of this film just on selection and I totally agree
2. The Symbolism-I had previously read reviews of the film. The one that stood out talked about how the film was “light-hearted” and in no way shape or form did a true depiction of the life and times of blacks during the time period. I, both, agreed and disagreed. I disagreed because although the film didn’t push the envelope and portray the slums and down right disgraceful physical mistreatment of blacks it wasn’t supposed to. This film was more about the societal status that whites seemed to have had during those times. It spoke to the irrefutable cliques with clichés and told the story of how the conglomerate clearly disregarded a working class that despite being undermined were very powerful. In the small place of agreeance I could only do so because the movie didn’t portray the interpersonal relationships of “the help” and the men in their lives to paint an even more vivid portrait of the, then, economic malfeasance and discord. Otherwise, the movie did what it was designed to do and that was tell a hand knitted story of racism, socialism, and tads of substandard feminism.
3. The Era-Supposedly having took place in the early 1960’s, the film illuminated the laws of the country during those days. The aftermath of slavery is never a kind thought for me so for me therefore to rehash a movement of pure and remissed apathy that had the audacity to bore a name, “Jim Crow” it regularly withdraws a ton of emotion, a cross typically between disbelief and anger. In this particular case I found myself shortly arrived at this mixture simply because I could imagine many in the audience having some sort of reaction. Whether that reaction would be enough to change our views of each other or not is what I didn’t consider. Mississippi was and still is a very dark state. A grand majority of ill favor the black community experienced was single-handedly according to this state and its sibling states. More personal to me having spent 11 summers growing up in the crux of a small town and after all these years I still separate it in my mind with the same rugged feeling of supremacy. I thought the depiction, again was within the context of the storyline, and it accurately added to the plot of the story. Besides the novel being based on many truths this did the era justice in my mind where there was none.
4. The Messages-I mentioned earlier I thought the overall movie illustrated the eradicated presence of the isms in that day and time more specifically to those in domestic position but left out the very potent inspirational messages. There was everything from courage, of course, to unity to leadership to value to wisdom that rung louder. The perseverance of these women despite their conditioning individually or collectively is exactly what ignited them to rise above and recognize their ability. Most of us call it irony. Here they crafted their lives and took back what was rightfully theirs regardless of the time, place and figures involved. Bravo on the undertone of solid life lessons of cause and effect in this film.
Last but largely important I am hopeful, as I shall remain, that by embarking on more and more movies that push the envelope outlining social integrity and underdevelopment the world will grow knowledgeable. With knowledge there always comes a choice. Stay the same or change. Let’s keep watching…