(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Selma is a greatly acted and directed movie, not only did David Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, he was Martin Luther King, this movie was inspiring, and really showed Dr. King’s passion, care, and personality, but most of all, it shows his vulnerability which really made him stronger. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
When it comes to historical figures that I really admired, Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) definitely tops my list. I just respected him as a protest leader fighting for equal rights for everybody no matter how they look and where they come from. I respect him for leading out in peaceful protests that proved to be successful in the fight for equal rights. I respected him because no matter what people throws against him to have him give up or lose his cool, he doesn’t, he keeps on marching on. He deserves that holiday that we have in January where we can thank him for having a life without segregation. I always wondered what would’ve happened if MLK wasn’t assassinated, and still worked hard until this day. How much more of a difference he would’ve been, and it’s on us to continue his dream. One thing, which I may be wrong, was why there hasn’t been a film about MLK and his work? Why it took until now to make a film. I’m glad an MLK film finally made through with Selma, and it did come through with a bang. I will start with what I like, to the so so.
What I like, let me just say that this may be the best acting in a film this year. Most notably David Oyelowo playing MLK. As I said before, he wasn’t acting like MLK, he was MLK. He caught his charisma and passion with every sermon or speech he gave to his people. He also showed how much he cared for his people, showing care and understanding to each person, and continuing installing their belief in peacefully fighting for equal rights. Oyelowo really caught his personality of dedication, determination, mannerism, and emotions. Really giving us the MLK we know from our history books and documentaries. But most of all, he caught what we couldn’t see through our history books and documentaries, was his vulnerability during his whole revolution. It showed that he was only a human being, but with his big heart, his weakness made him stronger to continue on fighting. Some of his vulnerabilities that were showed in the movie was when he was arrested and put in jail, and he was second guessing himself if everything that he is doing is worth it. Other things were when he has to make the unpopular decision of not having the march in the city of Selma, Alabama, and he had to face adversity from his own people with his decision where you see MLK second guessing himself if he made the right decision. One real vulnerability he showed was his relationship with his wife, Coretta Scott King played by Carmen Ejogo. One thing I didn’t know is that they actually suffered some marital problems that were pretty severe, and affected MLK’s work in Selma. I enjoyed seeing Ejogo playing Coretta, and showing how vulnerable and a emotional wreck she was during this whole ordain, and how she persevered and becoming stronger. Standing by her husband’s side in his march in Selma. All his trials and tribulations MLK had to go through, made him stronger and more of a believer that he is doing setting that is right for his people. I like how the movie showed the true colors of two politicians. First, the Governor of Alabama, George Wallace played by Tim Roth, showing how ignorant he was during this whole ordeal in Selma, and how he still had to audacity to run for President of the United States. Also showing how President Lyndon B. Johnson, played by Tom Wilkinson, showing him not bringing the guys to do what is right. He keeps making excuse after excuse of why he is not doing something, and MLK has called him out countless of times in his neutrality, at times President Johnson may seem ignorant, (probably the Texan in him), or just plain lazy or nonchalant to the ordeal. He finally did the right thing in signing the Equal Rights Voting Act. However, you get the feeling he reluctantly did, and didn’t want to end up like Governor George Wallace, but at least he did what’s right and a crucial turning point in The Civil Rights Movement. I’ve never heard of Director Ava DuVernay before this movie, but she did make me a great first impression. She really did her homework in making this important historical movie, and I appreciated that. I liked how she made all her actors really look the part and become who they are portraying. I like how she started the movie with dark lighting that gets brighter when things in Selma were looking better. The biggest and powerful scene in this movie was the first March in Selma, also known as “Bloody Sunday.” Where the march was stopped by police and many people were severely beaten and tear gassed. To me it showed how far racism can go and how terrible it has been. To see innocent people just making a peaceful protest march, and coming back with scars, bruises, and broken bones. It was horrific to watch, and make you shake your head knowing that people can actually do such a thing in a country preaching about freedom. That powerful moment even created another powerful moment where you see the people witnessing “Bloody Sunday” and adhering to MLK’s call in joining him to march again in Selma. There you see many different people of different race, color, city, and religion joining forces to have equal rights for everyone. That was powerful, and when they finally marched, their numbers tripled than what they originally had, and that speaks volumes to the influence that MLK had to all people.
The so so, maybe I’m nitpicking a little bit, but there were some slow parts in between scenes where I feel we’re not needed, but then again it showed the comraderie MLK had with his people, and maybe might’ve given him inspiration to keep going. It may be slow to me, but it doesn’t mean it can not be effective for others. Also the bombing scene, though it was executed greatly and gave the jump factor in the beginning of the movie, I was confused on who were those kids. It just shows how awful it was during those times I guess, even with characters that you don’t really relate at the beginning of the movie.
Overall, this movie is a powerful movie where you probably see a side of MLK where you never seen before, and give you a better understanding of how iconic he is in history for civil rights. I wish they show this movie during the Ferguson Riots where maybe people can see why peaceful protests is the way to go like what MLK did back then. It shows that peace goes a long way where people won’t look down on you, but equal to you. I believe this movie will get Oscar considerations, and it is down to David Oyelowo and Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor, and this movie so far as the Best that I’ve seen so far, and definitely on my Top 10 list for Best Movie of 2014!!! Final Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
(Sidenote: Jersey Boys- Not into musicals, but one directed by Clint Eastwood I just had to see. I liked how the movie starts off as a mafia movie, and then it became a musical and kind of faded off for me. I never heard of The Four Seasons musical group but I recognize some of their songs. It was an interesting but whatever movie for me, but I did like the final number which was entertaining. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.)