I saw this movie a couple of weeks ago at an early screening, and I got to say this is probably one of the most influential films I have seen so far this year. The Hate U Give is an adaptation of a novel with the same title where we follow a young woman named Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) who is constantly switching between two different worlds. One world where she lives in is a mostly black neighborhood and the other where she goes to a private school in the wealthier areas where it’s mostly a white neighborhood. These two different worlds collide when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. With that, she is now facing constant pressure from all parts of the community to stand up for the justice of her friend. There we follow Starr as she must find the courage to stand up for what’s right. Here is my full review of The Hate U Give.
What I Enjoyed About The Film:
- Amandla Stenberg is a talent that we all need to keep a lookout for because this young woman is about to take Hollywood by storm. I enjoyed her performance very much in this film of playing this young, conflicted person trying to cooperate into two different worlds; so much that I could relate to some of her struggles.
- Director George Tillman Jr. does a magnificent job of immersing us into Starr’s world and seeing this conflict unfold from her perspective the entire time. While also at the same time showing us the audience how this subject matter of police brutality not only affects Starr, but also how it affects her family, and her friends from both communities that she is living within.
- The entire cast were all superb and gave terrific performances. I’ve said this once, and I’ll repeat it, this has to probably be one of the most well-acted films I have seen of 2018!
- Finally, I can recognize that this subject matter is going to put some people off, but just for me on a personal level I say that the filmmaker handled it very well.
Where The Film Lost Me:
- For starters, Anthony Mackie I believe is a great actor, but man I did not like his character in this film at all! He plays the neighborhood drug dealer, and I honestly felt like he was useless to the movie. I guess he was in a way supposed to be the antagonist of the story, but he was an antagonist that was unnecessary especially considering the subject matter the film is already dealing with.
- The ending I felt they tried to put a cute bow on the end of it, and try to paint this pretty picture filled with hope and optimism. That’s great, but when you live in the real world, and you see things similar to this, unfortunately, there isn’t too much of a bright spot. Because of that when I left out of the theater, I was thinking to myself that was a good movie, but I wasn’t that much emotionally invested. Compared to a film with a similar subject matter such as Fruitvale Station. There, they made me care and get invested in the man of Oscar Grant that by the end I walked away being impacted by the movie. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for this film.
So in conclusion, this was a well-made movie with an important message that I truly believe all sorts of people need to witness for themselves. The entire cast were all outstanding and gave incredible performances. The subject matter of police brutality I thought was tackled very well, they do a great job of making you see this from so many different viewpoints, but never let you forget that you’re still watching it from Starr’s point of view. I already know that this movie is not going to be for everybody especially when it comes to something like this and politics, but all I can do as a film fan is to give this film at least a chance and go in with an open mind. You never know, you may walk out with a newfound perspective. Overall, I’m going to give The Hate U Give a B+!