Friday, April 19, 2013

42 — Review


42

Written & Directed by Brian Helgeland

Produced by Thomas Tull

Cinematography by Don Burgess

Starring

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson
Nicole Beharie as Rachel Isum Robinson
Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey
Andre Holland as Wendell Smith
Christopher Meloni as Léo Durocher
John C. McGinley as Red Barber
Lucas Black as Pee Wee Reese

Released: October 28, 2009 (USA)

Summary: The film tells the story of Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) and, under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford). Even though Jackie Robinson is the main character, the story focuses mostly on the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season and the story surrounding Robinson's signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American player to break the baseball color line. 

REVIEW
This is a terrific film! I knew about Jackie Robinson, but really nothing about his life and surely nothing about the impact he had on baseball. Like I wrote in the summary “Even though Jackie Robinson is the main character, the story focuses mostly on the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season and the story surrounding Robinson's signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American player to break the baseball color line.”

This is NOT the Jackie Robinson story from birth to death; it’s about his IMPACT on the world of baseball. You get to see what the team owner Branch Rickey had to go through with the league and other owners and even his own team. You get to see that Rickey, as played by Harrison Ford in one of his most real performances in years, had to go through a lot as well. 

The other supporting characters were great in their parts as well especially Andre Holland as Wendell Smith the black reporter who is assigned to write about Jackie breaking the color line and Nicole Beharie as Jackie’s wife Rachel.

The film also has lush cinematography by Don Burgess and wonderful direction by Brian Helgeland with crafted moments that treads the line of maudlin, but effectively highlights the racism Jackie Robinson fought.

As it should be though the film belongs to Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson. Boseman does a really great job and conveying some of what the real Jackie Robinson had to go through. 

42 is a great feel good movie and really good biopic of a legend.


Note: In its Opening Weekend April 12-14, 2013 42 earned an estimated $27.3 million for its opening weekend, the best premiere for a baseball themed film in Hollywood history. Entertainment Weekly

RELATED
After you see 42 you should really check out the documentary program "Jackie Robinson SportsCentury" featured on our sista blog Cool Black Media here


Opening Weekend Numbers for '42'

2 comments:

dtmmr.com said...

Good review Dankwa. Can’t say I loved it, but definitely liked mostly what I saw, especially from the story-telling department as it all went the way it happened in real life, no frills.

Dankwa Brooks said...

Thanks. I thought it did a good job at conveying what happened during that time as well. A filmmaker friend of mine wishes it got deeper with the racism, but I'm like listen this is supposed to be a movie, it's entertainment.