Fences (Sidenote: Free State of Jones)


(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)

Fences took a while to get going, but once I was in, it had the greatest dialogue in a film this year which created some emotional and often tense moments!!!

Rating: 3.5 Stars

To make this quick, I’m not familiar with the play. I watched this film (not just for the Oscar buzz), but because it starred and was directed by Denzel Washington. The trailer where he had that very tense conversation with his son showed me that this will be Denzel at his best. I was right in that regard.

What I Like: Let’s start with the dialogue. It is the best I’ve seen this year. The story is about a father who has great pride in everything he does, and how his pride affects those around him, especially his family. The only reason this story works, is because of the great writing which created the dialogue that was funny, emotional, and powerful. Of course with great dialogue, comes great acting. Denzel Washington as Troy Maxson was awesome to watch. At times he is hilarious, at times he was a jerk and hated, and at times, he is intimidating. He acted well with  Viola Davis as his wife, Rose Maxson. They had very good chemistry through the funny parts and the very serious parts. I thought Davis acted very well as a woman who can be fun, but at times, suffering, but never backing down on what is right. Jovan Adepo playing his son, Cory Maxson had the most intimidating scenes. The one where his is explaining why he doesn’t have to like his son, but still provides no matter what was very intense. The last scene where he and his son actually fight with Troy winning was very intense as well, and it led to him kicking his son out of his house. During the whole ordeal in this film, it shows Troy trying to build a fence for his house. As the years go by, little by little, the fence is built. Until the day he died, the fence was finally finished. I liked the symbolism representing the distant he created with his family and friends over the years. Which means the fence he is building is to shut them out until he finally passed away.

The So So: It did take me a while to get into the story of this film. One of the main reasons is because I have to get used to the vernacular of the dialogue. Once I started to get used to it, i really enjoyed what the movie brings. The vernacular of a black family in the 50’s really made it authentic, and for some people to relate and for others to learn.

What I Didn’t Like: My biggest gripe is that it lacked transitions. At first, I thought it was happening day after day. Was getting a little confused seeing that everything is rushing together, but then realized this is going on time after time. It made sense once I realized that, but the lack of transitions really made it confusing. At least put something that says 1 month later to avoid that confusing. Denzel directed a pretty good film, but he has to work on better transitions for sure. Because of that, it turned from a good movie, to decent..

Overall: It is a good movie with some great dialogue that made it entertaining. I wish it was structured better to really make it great. With that said, you get the best acting from Denzel Washington and by Viola Davis. Do you expect anything less from them?

Rating: 3.5 Stars


(Sidenote: Free State of Jones- This is a movie that had some moments. I enjoyed the Civil War battles. I enjoyed seeing Matthew McConaughey acting as a Southerner activist changing sides from being a Confederate to part of the Union. I enjoyed seeing a guy from Mississippi actually fighting against slavery and for equal rights. It was a breath of fresh air showing a different side of Southerners. The thing is that it is structured poorly in figuring out what was going on with these guys. Let alone that there were many slow points that can make it boring. As I said, it has impactful moments, and when they happen it is fun!!!
Rating: 3 Stars)

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