Review: The Help
The Help is the biggest surprise of the summer. It has reigned on top of the box office since it’s premier three weeks ago. It proves that adults are willing to come out and see a movie, as long as that movie is well-thought out and culturally significant. The only question left then, is how is it as a film?
For those who have been in the dark for the last few weeks, The Help, stars Emma Stone and Viola Davis and is set in Mississippi during the 1960s. Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer and finds the perfect topic for her first publication right in her backyard, the mistreatment of the help [poor african-american women who are trained to slave away for the affluent white society].
The Help applies semi-gloss to the actual events that were happening during the time. While it shows the help segregated to their own bathrooms and a strange fear of germs, I believe the film avoided much of real brutality that was going on during the time. Now before it is argued that they showed enough to bring the point across, from my understanding, the novel accentuates their suffering to a greater degree than the film.
The shining light of this film is the terrific cast they have found. This is certainly a film where women are in control since the men only play small parts to their significant others. Emma Stone as the young, compassionate journalist Skeeter, absolutely nails it. Her talent became clear in last year’s, Easy A, but she has really proven herself a force in cinema. On the other hand, Viola Davis, might have earner herself another Oscar nomination. She plays Aibileen, a maid who lost her son, and only lives to bring up babies that aren’t her own. She steels herself in-front of god to say what must be said, the mistreatment of herself and her friends. Finally, Jessica Chastain has made a splash in the last few months. After making her breakthrough in ‘The Tree of Life‘, she transforms into a southern woman with zero sense, Celia Foot, and completely owns the part.
‘The Help‘ is easily this year’s ‘The Blind Side‘. While it isn’t the feel good movie of the summer, it has a lot of sentimentality to overcome most of it’s depressing realities. ‘The Help’ is a good movie that has an important message to say and brings it across in an entertaining fashion. It isn’t the best film of the year, but it might be the most surprising.
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