This Review is Rated: "S" For Spoilers
After watching Shame and discovering who is the mastermind behind that piece of awesomeness, I rushed to review 12 Years a Slave, a movie I wanted to see last year, but never got around to do so. Steve McQueen is brilliant and is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors among others such as Darren Aronofsky, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, Josh Whedon and Guillermo del Toro
|Take that slavery. I'm writing a book!|
From there she was able to start the process of trying to locate him. However locating Solomon was impossible and they could not go any further until 12 years down the road, Solomon was fortunate to run into Mr. Bass, a Canadian who was an abolitionist and agree to write letters on his behalf to his wife in New York to help locate Solomon and bring him back home. The stakes were so high, Mr. Bass could not reveal his identity nor the location of where the letters came from so Master Epps would never find out who sent the letters. Master Epps fought with the court over his property claims, but in the end lost his right to keep owning Solomon.
Solomon's life as a slave was mainly up and down and was totally dependent on which master he served. This biography is interesting since slavery is always portrayed as "evil white person hitting black people the entire movie." Instead it reveals an interesting truth that not all slave owners were massive dickheads and some treated their workers with care. These owners were still in the wrong for owning slaves in the first place, but treatment and conditions go a long way if you are stuck in such a shit situation. At the time, it was a common place acceptable practice and we have to realize objectively that if one must own slaves/servants, one should at least not be a terror to them if they want their workers to be productive at all [which is and always was the end goal].
|The preacher, Mr. William Ford [Benedict Cumberbatch]|
Down and Dirty [Just How You Like It]:
The whole movie was downright close to perfect and straight forward. You get the jist of his story and how lucky he was to get out of his situation alive. The feels were real. Even though there were some parts that were zany and ironic in how they were portrayed, this movie is going to make you cry. You can't help but to feel for Solomon who is desperate to leave the horrible situation he found himself in. You will love every minute of this movie, its beautiful in so many ways and I am glad it was made justifiably by a great director and a group of outstanding actors.
|The rescue team has arrived, carriage style|
The person who really brings him back is Mr. Henry Northrup, the son of the man who freed Solomon's father in the past and his childhood friend. He also happens to be an attorney, which can't hurt. So its good they skipped all the court proceedings and nonsense involved after the fact. But I wish they showed more of his escape attempts. Even though Solomon was in a rather good position with his first master, he still attempted to escape multiple times. Because, yeah, this shit sucks.
Great performances from the entire cast. I was superbly impressed by everyones skill level and capability.
|This incredible man lived to escape ^|
|This looks like an episode of cheaters|
|Getting a little close there, aren't we Mr. Epps?|
The Underground Railroad of Sins:
1. Was She Taking Advantage of Him?
First five minutes of this film, some woman grabs our hero and has silent sex with him. Then cries about it. My mind is confoosed! Woman, you forced yourself on him, and now you are crying in shame? Pick a side damn it!
|The mad hatters are taking Solomon to the dark world|
So Solomon gets courted by some circus gentlemen that wine and dine him and the scene is set up in a way where you feel like this dude is about to get roofied, thrown in a sack and taken to banjo land at any moment. Seriously, stop with the wine.
3. Run N***** Run
Worst song ever. I sort of chuckled at this part because of how ridiculously horrible this song was and the irony of the message involved. Like seriously? Do we need to sing that song and make everyone clap to it while every ones working? What kind of asshole sings this song? A super asshole, that's what. Paul Dano as Master Tibaut is a horrible jerk, but a funny horrible jerk.
4. So...Just Let Him Hang There?
Seriously? Hes just hanging there and everyone's just going about business as usual? Rough, man. Rough. Kids are playing in the background, people are looking, but nobody is helping. Except a woman who quickly gives him water and bolts away before she is seen. He literally hangs there the whole day so Master Ford can cut him down. Holy crap..why didnt they just cut him down right then and there?
5. Midnight Dance
So Master Epps is an absurd prick. He decides to wake everyone up to have a dance in his house and you could tell everyone was seriously annoyed at this. Their faces were lifeless and tired. Like seriously what's wrong with this guy..and hes totally got the creepers boner for Patsy [all of that cotton picking power in one tiny body just makes him super hard I guess. Watch out guys, if you pick more cotton he may go after you too]. Eww. I like you Fassbender but you got the creepy stare going on in this movie too. You are also a psycho...a funny psycho, but a psycho none the less.
|Paul Dano asks if the man is an engineer or a you know what..|
Paul Dano's southern asshole character argues with Solomon about pushing the logs through the river to save money with the owner and wins out, making Paul's character look like a dumb ass. That was awesome. The owner was impressed and let him do it. haha. He schooled him a second time in the movie too..Paul Dano is such a good coward archetype actor.
7. What a Sissy
Epps can't strike his own favorite girl in the slave bunch so he makes Solomon strike her instead and threatens his life and everyone else's if he doesn't strike her harder. What a shit. Of course he is egged on by his super jealous wife that tortures Patsy every turn she gets.
8. Is That His Child?
At one point Fassbender is holding a little black girl and treating her to candy. Was that his kid that he had with Patsy or was that just a kid in general? I mean, is this what the wife was P'Od about? Because I can't imagine him being with Patsy that many times without her getting pregnant at some point.
9. Benedict's Accent
I have to admit, he is terrible at the southern accent. I love his voice, but you could tell he was struggling to get it right. Sometimes it was just his regular voice that came out and sometimes he just barely grasped it. Its not a huge deal since his role was limited, but I am not familiar how southern Mr. Ford was or was he a possible immigrant. My assumption was his family was established if he had property.
|A free family is a dapper family|
Well slave masters then WERE afraid of these things possibly happening and that is why they beat their slaves down physically and morally to make it difficult to leave. The threat of escaping and getting caught, then executed was very real. People were afraid, illiterate and kept in the dark. Because a smart black person was a dangerous black person to a slave owner. Its really the same nonsense that goes on even in todays culture. The more you keep people stupid, the easier they are to control. Its an age old theme that never seems to die. The educated will always be more bitchy and yammering about their rights than those who don't know them at all.
And when you have generations upon generations that are stuck in that cycle of life, your children don't understand what freedom is. So even if they were given it, they wouldn't know what to do with it. This is what happened in the slave colonies today that organizations are working to eliminate [yes some colonies do exist even though slavery is outlawed everywhere]. They have no skills, no education, no understanding of the world. They become fearful because they don't know how to survive in a world free of an oppressive master. Its very easy to run back and just let the master take care of you instead of try to figure it out on your own. Not everyone is designed to walk out of slavery with the capability to live a regular life. And this is incredibly sad. Luckily the men/women who figured it out before hand and became part of the abolitionist movement helped slaves escape and gave them the support they needed. And ex-slaves need a lot of support to transition into a world free of boundaries.
|The Happy Dance...this all star cast won 213 awards total|
Unfortunately Solomon could not push the court system to prosecute his kidnappers and therefore the men responsible were let go. Today this kind of activity would be hard to let go because we all believe fervently in our own freedom. But during that time, freedom wasn't always guaranteed. It still isn't. Its why people still fight for it on a daily basis. Freedom is not just a physical aspect, its also a state of mind. The state of mind only a free man/woman could understand.
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DnD Rating: 9.8/1O
DVD/Blueray: Available now!