Tuesday, 15 November 2011

252: Review - The Help

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Help poster

The Help
13th November 2011. Location: Cinema

A bit late, I know, but we've only just got it at our local flicks. Pffft. Oh, and Usual Rules Apply: I haven't read the book of this, so I wasn't comparing it to its literary predecessor.

Set against the early stages of the American Civil Rights movement, you might not necessarily expect a lot of the humour that's written into The Help, and there are several laugh-out-loud moments. In fact, you'd probably be psyched up for a fairly earnest and hard-hitting drama with a hefty moral message. Well, its morals are in the right place, as is its earnestness, but it never seems to really pack any weight behind its punches.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a laugh-a-minute, and it certainly doesn't skirt around the central issue of racial prejudice and inequality. But the big events in the movie (like the rioting in the town of Jackson, where the film is set) are skipped over swiftly, and many events are described or alluded to without being shown.

The downside of this is that when the uplifting moments of the film reach their crescendo, they feel slightly empty, just as the tragedies did.

The aspect of the film that affected me most, however, is knowing that the frankly jaw-dropping attitudes on display in the film are part of civilised humanity's very recent history. In that respect, it's beautifully written and acted, and deserves your attention.


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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