coon. jungle bunny. tar baby. nigger.
I have to mentally prepare myself before I go to see films like The Help, Django Unchained...and now 42. If not, the bad place it takes me to will undoubtedly have me looking cross-eyed at every white person, innocent or not, that I see. So I prepared myself for the worst.
To me, this film was about a few basic things:
1. The man and his courage to walk through the door that was presented to him.
2. His true strength...which was spiritual and emotional.
3. And lastly, his LEADERSHIP.
This film, once again, confirmed it for me. Leaders have to have the courage to ultimately walk alone....just them and God, period. If you cannot, no love lost but take a seat...with the rest of the crowd and be regular.
My fav shot was when the camera followed him, Dodgers 42 on his back, walking through the tunnel, heading to the field...alone. Mr. Robinson had his wife, Rachel, who supported and adored him...he had the owner of the Dodgers, Branch Rickey played by Harrison Ford, who God used to present the door to him and open it from the inside out. But ultimately, he was the one who had to go in the locker room with some resentful white players...he had to walk on that field as the only African-American (we were Negroes then) and play in an unbelievably hostile environment. I believe the film only touched the surface of what he went through.
Simply put, Chadwick Boseman did an excellent job. I BELIEVED he was Jackie Robinson, much like I BELIEVED Denzel was Malcolm X in Spike Lee's X. He showed us the strength, the determination and the vulnerability of the man. And the skill. I must say, I found myself being reminded of Derek Luke and Anthony Mackie while watching him...which is both good and bad. Luke & Mackie are great actors so to be compared to them is not an insult. However, no actor wants someone watching their performance and visualizing another PEER actor in that same role. Now, if I was reminded of a younger Denzel or Sidney Poitier...no problem.
Same thing with Nicole Beharie, who play Rachel Robinson. I kept getting glimpses of Kerry Washington...and even Regina King in her performance. King, who played the ULTIMATE supportive ride or die wife in Jerry Maguire, has not been topped yet, in my humble opinion. Beharie did a fine job, however, I did feel at times she was holding back. There were times that were intimate, face to face and then it seemed she would break it in a "no, my make-up!" moment and just kinda mug prettily, even if emotionally, for the camera. Um...no.
My only major complaint would be that Jackie's character seemed to ask Branch Rickey one too many times "Why? Why are you doing this?" At one point, I almost felt like a "Massa..why for little ole me? In your graciousness, why?" might be thrown. I admit, that might be my own issues and not how it was actually portrayed. But it did seem that the writer and/or director wanted to HIGHLIGHT that it was Branch Rickey that made everything happen...that Jackie kind of deferred to him.
Once again, it may just be my "internals". lol! BTW - I can't say anything bad about Harrison Ford. He always brings the goods. Love him....since Han Solo. Crushin' seriously. :-)
bite of the day ~ I really enjoyed the film. I was there with Jackie emotionally. But of course, see it for yo-self and let me know what you think. :-)