Selma Review

Just in from watching and Selma and I was astounded.  This movie was at times heart breaking and brutal, but in all it is an inspiring piece of film which enlightened me further about the great man who was Martin Luther King Jr.

I remember the first time I heard Martin Luther King Jr. speech in a classroom.  He had died nearly twenty years before my birth, yet he had a huge impact on me. His beautiful voice and his command of the English language was brilliant. The message of love, equality, and peace was like nothing I heard before. I was all of ten years old, but he had made an impact on my life. He stood for ideas that I grew up thinking. Ideas some twenty years later I still believe in; peace, love, respect, and equality.  When I saw that this movie was coming out, I knew I had to watch it and thankfully I got my chance sooner than later.

What I didn’t like about the movie.

I have very little bad about this movie. The last twenty minutes dragged slightly, but I think that was more because of the excessive amount of trailers before the movie. After a couple of hours, I want to get up and move around. This movie is not for the faint of heart. There isn’t gore, but there is certainly violence and disturbing imagery. There is monstrous acts of racism and hate that sickened me to the core. There were other figures in this movie that I had a fundamental deviation in thoughts. I can’t wrap my head around the idea of being able to look at people of any group as anything less than people. Some humans clearly can and did. (Too many still do.)

What I liked about this film.

Often with historical films, they change key situations and events to make the story more interesting for film sake. This film took a couple of liberties, but  the vast majority (85-90%) was on par with the actual events and timeline in Selma. The movie captured my emotions with every scene. The terrible moments caused me grief and anger, while the good moments were heartwarming and inspiring, The film made me care about the key characters in this movie. I ached with them, I laughed with him, I wished the best for them.

I love that this movie didn’t only focus on Martin Luther King Jr, but also showed the issues that President Lyndon B. Johnson had to deal with. He was coming from a different angle from King.  I understand why some would be upset with his portrayal, the movie was fair to him and it certainly showcased his best and worst sides. The movie didn’t hold back the conflict of interests between King and Malcolm X either. Two mighty figures who came from opposing sides. It also dove into King’s personal life and the troubles he had at home and his moments of doubt and conflict with various other people.

This film didn’t go out to paint Martin Luther King Jr. as this god like figure, but rather as a great man with the courage and determination to stand up for what he felt was right.  He had his doubts, he had his flaws, but the man was able stand tall and firm for the principles of nonviolence and equality.

The cast in this movie was exceptional. I think every person nailed their role.  To name a few: Tim Roth as Governor George Wallace, Stephan James as John Lewis, Common as James Bevel, Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King. The standout was easily David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. Get this man into more movies because he was incredible.

The music was beautiful, the history was very accurate, the cast was great. In every way, this movie was a wonderfully crafted piece of art. It brings Martin Luther King Jr. into the mindset of a whole new generation of Americans. A generation that may know of the man and his accomplishments, but the events and people have faded a bit into the history books. This movie ensures that this particular part of history will not be forgotten. That the ideas that these men and women fought and sometimes died for was something a great value and still is today.

I strongly recommend this movie to anyone with an appreciation for good acting, history, and the idea that all people are created equal.  By the end, when I heard that booming voice, I shed a few tears. It took me back to the first time I heard King’s message of love and equality. It warmed my soul and inspired me to the point I didn’t even feel the cold when getting to my car.

I initially put this movie as a 2014 release as it premiered that year, but I’m now considering it for 2015 since it was released this past Friday to the masses.  .

What did you think of Selma?

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