Fences – 4.5/5

Credits:fencespicture

  • Rating – PG -13
  • Genre – Drama
  • Director – Denzel Washington
  • Screenplay – August Wilson
  • Cast – Denzel Washington / Viola Davis / Russell Hornsby / Jovan Adepo/ Stephen Henderson / Mykelti Williamson / Saniyya Sidney
  • Distributer – Paramount Pictures
  • Release date – December 25th, 2016

Overall Impression:

The story and the emotions behind the characters actions were beautifully represented. If you can get passed the “stagey” presentation and the long-winded dialogue it really is a fantastic film. The raw disappointments and realities of life during that time still impact us similarly today, with the exception of the progression of women’s rights. With the issues seen in this family’s relationships we could’ve easily been watching a present day film depicting the modern family.

fences2

Synopsis:

Set in the 1950’s, an African-American family deals with the trials and tribulations of race, friendship, love and betrayal. Troy (Washington) and Rose (Davis) Maxon have a great thing going on but his past glory days as a would-be baseball player seem to be having a negative impact on his present life. With Troy’s ever-mounting sports related insecurities, the relationship between him and his son Cory (Adepo), become increasingly estranged as the movie progresses. Then to add to it, Troy frequently blames this “whites preferred” time for his hard life and unrealized baseball career. His feelings of suffocation ultimately lead to larger issues within his marriage and friendships.

Positives:

  • Russel Hornsby delivers his lines amazingly in one of the scenes early on in the film. The intensity of his feelings towards his father and their relationship is so beautifully depicted. It really helps pace the scene and sets the tone for their future father-son interactions.
  • The characterizations and story were perfectly written. Denzel’s character had the vernacular of that time down pat, not to mention the mannerisms. He reminded me of those smooth, fast-talking, storytelling men who knew how to charm the ladies. Viola’s performance was impeccable as usual, displaying her flare for well-executed dramatic scenes – insert scream-crying here…

viola

Negatives:

  • This film was a play adaptation and it shows… it really shows. The scenes and the characters in them were very static. Also, the sets were pretty much all the same with no variation of movement. I mean… aren’t there other places besides the backyard and front of the house where they can talk? Perhaps if Denzel varied some of the angles and framed them in a way to enhance or highlight something different from what we kept seeing, it might have added a bit more.

denzelandguys

  • While the banter between Troy and others is entertaining, sometimes it’s a bit too much. A lot of the heavy dialogue could’ve been removed without interfering with the integrity of the characters and scenes.
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