“Courage isn’t just about being brave, it’s about overcoming fear and daring to do what is right for your fellow man.”
It’s that time again: movie review time! This review is for the film: The Help. Before I give a summary of the movie let me just tell you, this may be the movie of the year for me. The acting was phenomenal, the cast was extraordinary, and the story (based on the bestselling book) was life-changing. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out the trailer here: The Help Trailer.
The Help is set in Jackson, Mississippi during the early days of the civil rights movements. Of course, the southern United States in the 60’s was not accepting of diversity, and the white population was not concerned with providing African-Americans with safe and/or healthy living and working conditions. The Help provides an in-depth look into the world of an African-American maid, her responsibilities, and her hardships, while also highlighting the inner workings of the southern, white female social circles that were so prevalent at the time.
The film focuses on two maids, Aibileen Clark (played by Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (played by Octavia Spencer) who have spent their lives raising white children and cleaning the homes of upper middle class white families, while having to face extreme racism and poverty. The maids, referred to as “the help,” are so disliked (despite being relied upon so heavily) by their employers that a movement to create separate bathrooms for them spread like wildfire through the city.
Recent ‘Ole Miss graduate, Skeeter (played by Emma Stone) realizes the injustice being done to these women and desires to bring awareness to the issues by taking her views and the maids’ testimonies to create a book. By bringing light to the terrible treatment of the help, it empowers the women to break free from their silence.
Skeeter, Minny, and Aibileen
Overall this film was completely spectacular. The transformation that all the actors made in order to become true to the characters, each with their own style and attitude was simply unbelievable. Although I have not actually finished the book (something I plan to do in the next week), I can see the continuity with the story line, and how well the characters in the book were brought to life.
Despite the fact that the film lasted almost 2.5 hours, my friends and I were thoroughly engrossed the entire time. Emotions ran the whole gamut. There were tears of happiness and sadness, along with gut-busting laughter. The character development was so excellently executed that I truly felt I knew each character by the end of the film.
One additional aspect that is vital in the differentiating of a good film from an excellent film in my opinion is: the music. The Help receives an A+ in my book for the soundtrack. The trailer alone gives me goosebumps with the song, “Change the World” feat. Taylor Dayne, which is unfortunately not available in iTunes in the U.S. quite yet. :( Instead of using top 40 pop music that so many movies use today, the songs were perfectly selected for giving off the right vibe in each moment in the movie. Everybody should definitely check out The Help!
Let me know if you’ve seen it (or read the book) and give me your feedback in the comments section. Also, let me know how you like this movie review. What changes should I make to create a better review?
**Please note I was not paid to endorse The Help or any associated products/websites.