By Gisselle Washington | Staff Writer |
Intense. Compelling. Inspirational. Based on the powerful novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is a long-lasting tale that will be remembered by generations to come as it sheds light on the social issues plaguing African Americans today in our society.
Directed by George Tillman Jr., the man behind films Notorious and Barbershop, the film delivers a story centered around the main character Starr, a young African American girl, who lives a double life. She attends a predominantly white school called Williamson in an upper middle class community, while living in a low income, predominantly black neighborhood called Garden Heights. After shots break out at a party gone wrong in her neighborhood, Starr and her long time childhood friend Khalil leave the scene. Everything comes crashing down as they both are pulled over by a cop. Then the police officer asks for Khalil to step out of the car and keep his hands where he could see them. This leads to Starr first hand witnessing the death of Khalil from where she sat in the passenger seat of his car. When Khalil attempted to grab a hairbrush out of the car, the officer mistakes it for a weapon and shoots. After Khalil is fatally shot, Starr has to find her voice and stand up for her friend as the only witness. She faces pressure from not only her home community to speak in Khalil’s trial, but also from the Williamson students who are appropriating black culture and using Khalil’s death as a reason to skip school for so-called “protesting,” but not really caring about the issue at hand.
One aspect of the film I highly commend was the star-studded acting performance of Starr by Amandla Stenberg. As she navigated through different environments, her portrayal was very authentic and sincere when delivering the role. From the beginning of the movie, we got to see Stenberg act the part of Starr 2.0, the girl who wasn’t as expressive of herself and her roots at her school to avoid falling into the “ghetto” title. She contrasts this with her role at home where she could express herself without the backlash. Throughout the film, Stenberg does an excellent job with developing the character as she grows to find her voice as new inspirational leader in Garden Heights. This shines volumes and really staples The Hate U Give as one of the best movies of 2018.
The Hate U Give is a visually stunning, suspenseful drama and thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, not knowing what’s going to happen next. Such an intense thought-provoking film really struck a chord in me on how issues addressed in it are relevant in our society with police brutality of unarmed African Americans.
I’d highly recommend seeing The Hate U Give because it delivers a timely message with an excellent cast that just solidifies how magnificent it is. 10/10 must see.