#JustWatched Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2017)

January 11, 2017

 

This was great. It treaded that fine line of educating the audience on some of the most important people we've never heard about, showing the struggles we can only imagine while keeping it entertaining, funny and never patronising.

 

This could have been heavy-handed and to be fair, it would be completely justified. When you're dealing with issues like segregation, oppression, racism, sexism and civil rights it's hard not to push the point home because let's be honest, the lessons previous generations died to teach us seem to be getting forgotten at the moment. The film had no problem with humbling the audience, using drama and bigoted characters to remind them just how good most of us have it (if you're a while male anyway)  and we should have no problem with the film doing any of that. We think we understand what it was like for African-Americans during that period but we can only really imagine. Three moments really pushed it home for me. One for each of the characters. Katherine and the bathroom. Dorothy and the library. Mary and her engineer request.

 

The dialogue was punchy wit so many memorable lines. The performances were just wonderful. The three leads had incredible chemistry with each other and with just about everyone on screen. Support from Kevin Costner and Jim Parsons was brilliant but I feel Kirsten Dunst needs a special mention. Her emphatic condescension made her character the perfect representation of do-nothing, sitting-on-the-fence white people. 

 

The film represents change on a small scale, changing individual's ideals and perceptions. Each character experiences growth and understanding and I think it shows what can be achieved through respectful, personal interaction. Perhaps that's something that we're rapidly losing, I don't know. But I don't think it's too late to get it back.

 

Anyway, go see this as soon as it's out. Hidden Figures deserves to be seen.

 

 

 

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© Adam Gunton

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