Movie Review “42”
My initial reluctant attitude towards 42 stemmed from thoughts of a dull, slow, overly dramatic, historic movie-documentary. However, this is clearly not the case, as 42 has unexpectedly hit a homerun into my top list of favorite movies.
The symbolic number was the emblem worn by Jackie Robinson, world-famous for being the first black baseball player in the major leagues with the Brookfield Dodgers. The movie follows Robinson as he breaks the baseball color barrier, facing extreme racism and death threats along the way.
Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson did a phenomenal job with the multiple facets of Robinson, from his anger expressed towards the prejudice surrounding him, to the moments when he turned the other cheek. His performance is stunning, emotional, and authentic. Harrison Ford’s scenes as Branch Rickey, the team executive, steal the movie. Ford brings a certain wit and dry humor to everything he says, making each scene fresher than the last. The secondary characters are portrayed in a way that is unforgettable. Their personalities are well rounded, especially from Andre Holland as Wendell Smith and Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson.
The cinematography is gorgeous. The scenes were picturesque and the color palette fit in with the time period of the 1940’s. Baseball scenes had my heart pounding and my family cheering Robinson on. Baseball fans will surely geek out with all the baseball plays and players included.
42 depicts this turbulent chapter of our nation in a respectful way, and perhaps too much so – it may be too “safe” concerning issues linked with racism. Even so, the story of this inspiring, exceptional man with unparalleled talent and bravery will never fail to impress me. It’s beyond me how Jackie Robinson could have ever endured all the taunts and the threats. Like Harrison Ford’s character says, “I want a player who has the guts not to fight back.” 42 will open viewers’ eyes to the social setup of America after World War 2. There’s the frequent use of the n-word and an intense scene where Robinson breaks down, but otherwise, this movie is a must-see for anyone above age 13. 42 is beautiful, moving, and honest in its telling of legend Jackie Robinson.