12 Years A Slave

Not to diminish slavery, but this movie didn’t do a good job at portraying the horrors of slavery. There were only a few scenes that made me go “my God that’s terrible”. Overall the main character pretty much coasted to the end of his servitude. Chiwetel Ejiofor gave an Oscar worthy performance as Solomon Northup, a freed slave violinist.

After being betrayed, Northup finds himself thrown back into slavery and sold to a plantation. This movie does change my views on how slavery was back then.I had the image of the slaves up at that crack of dawn and working until a small lunch and then back to the fields. This movie wasn’t that at all. The slaves had free range of the plantations and could even go into town and buy supplies, at their master’s request. Northup found ways to stay under the radar and on his master’s good side.

The cast of the movie deserved nominations all around. Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for her spectacular performance as Patsey, a young slave girl. Patsey was a slave on the same plantation as Northup and was often abused by slave master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Epps showed the brutality of slavery by whipping Patsey until chunks of skin exploded off her back. This was the only real eye opening scene of the movie to me.

Overall I did enjoy the movie. I don’t think it was this year’s Best Picture, but the individual Oscars were well deserved. The movie was a tad slow at times, which was expected. There was no “on the edge of your seat” moments. Even when Epps chased Northup around with a knife I wasn’t worried for a second.

A 3/5 is how I felt about the movie. Don’t get me wrong, it was a well put together film, but didn’t really catch my interest that much. The power performances of the actors are what drove this movie, not the deep storyline.
Joe Reyes



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