Powerful. Gut wrenching perfectly memorable... Only problem is that it seems as if the film was made in an effort to provoke, which in most cases is a good thing.
However in my personal estimate, I could stand for a little less shock therapy and a lot more storytelling. I guess their defense would be there would be no story without the awful truths. To then my retort would be this: I’m 38… A young 38, old 38 it’s all relative depending on how long you've been here… In all these years I’ve seen my share of slavery movies. There’s nothing new that I hadn’t seen in similar films. Except what 12 Years a Slave does so well and that is to take the smallest details of that era and amplify them. Not to the point of exaggeration either but right at the threshold of believably… then leaves you there, with no score music or crafty transitions…. you just dangle there in awe. I’ve never been the type to let films depict my mood in a negative way, but tonight I feel like I was drugged. I wasn’t expecting the terror on the scale that I received.
Michael Fassbender might be one of the top three actors of all time. Chiwetel Ejiofor has always been a superior but underrated actor. I hope this effort propels him into the realm of discussion when comparing the greatest of actors and actresses in the last few decades. The supporting cast all did a remarkable job as everyone on screen held there own.
This isn’t for the feint of heart. I notice folk leaving the auditorium, a lot of heavy breathing and mumbling in disgust. I remember just wanting the film to end. Not because it was too long but because it was too much! I also remember the credits rolling and we couldn't immediately get up. Everyone took a collective breath and gathered ourselves because we too, like the characters on screen were [emotionally] impoverished, spent and in the end, still.
More than worth the price of admissionletter grade: A