Monday, September 8, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" - Movie Review

Photo: Emirates Airlines

IMDb Page: 12 Years a Slave - IMDb

Excellent, brutal, very well made film about the horrors of slavery. To me, this film has parallels with Spielberg's "Schindler's List," that film depicting the horrors of The Holocaust, this film depicting the horrors of slavery.

But, Spielberg basically just hammers away at the audience for three hours to pound the horror into their heads. The only character we get to know is a Nazi, Oscar Schindler. The Jews are just there to be lined up for the slaughter. That movie is more blunt object than film. It is fairly inartful, and shows little of Spielberg's former talents as a filmmaker.

But, here, Steve McQueen offers a dramatic, dynamic film that enthralls the audience. It is brutal, yes. But, it is about the central character, Solomon Northrup, who is a free black, abducted and sold into slavery.

We truly get to know him and those others who have been enslaved. They aren't just unknown victims.

The artistic qualities are masterful, especially Sean Bobbitt's cinematography and Hans Zimmer's film score. The performances are very good all around, and show how McQueen and his cast were able to create an excellent working relationship.

It is a tough film to watch, but I believe it is a film that should be seen.

****1/2 (4 1/2 Out of 5 Stars)

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