Monday, October 22, 2018

Review Film The Hate U Give (2018)

#TheHateUGive (2018): 7/10

The Hate U Give is based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas, which itself was inspired by true events involving the shooting of a young African American man in the early hours of New Years Day in 2009. Star (Stenberg) witnesses the late night shooting of old friend and crush Khalil (Algee Smith) whilst being interrogated by a local police officer at the side of the road.

Amandla Stenberg (‘The Darkest Minds’, ‘The Hunger Games’), who surely has a bright future ahead of her, gives a stellar central performance as Star. You really buy into her carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders as the only witness to the crime, whilst also being pressured into keeping her mouth shut by local drug lord King, played by Anthony Mackie (‘Captain America: The Winter Solider’), who employed Khalil at the time of his death. There is real tension between King’s crew and Star’s family, portrayed brilliantly by the supporting cast of Russell Hornsby (‘Fences’), Lamar Johnson (‘Kings’), and Regina Hall (‘Scary Movie’).

Star also has to come to terms with the fact that her friends at the mostly white private school she attends in an attempt to escape from the troubles in her neighbourhood might have differing opinions to her on the circumstances surrounding the shooting, in a surprising turn of events as the story unfolds. It’s a real pity though that we do not get to see more of Algee Smith (‘Detroit’), who carries himself with a coolness and charisma, and is another star of the future. We do however get time for some light family humour along the way.

Most importantly of all though, it’s the message that this film presents in the bucket load that viewers should be taking in; that in this day and age, there are still areas of society that look down upon lesser individuals unfavourably. That there is still police brutality that goes unpunished. And whilst the film is unquestionably a propaganda piece, the ideals presented should still not be ignored.


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