Monday, April 15, 2013
42 is the new biopic about Jackie Robinson, and while it isn't a great movie, there's a great movie hidden in there, just waiting to be excavated and dug out by a merciless editor. Anyway, it's still a very good film, a very important story, and I recommend it highly. I loved it.
It's a story most people know, of course, about the first African American to enter the realm of Major League Baseball, but it's the kind of movie you can know but not actually now. I've only known the cliff notes version of the story, without actually knowing much about the man or what his incredible accomplishment actually entailed. This is not an easy movie to watch, since the language and attitudes and the racism of the time are such integral parts of the story. You will be disgusted and sickened and angered by what you'll see, but that's kind of the point and it's something that we as Americans need to be faced with and reminded of constantly. We did some horrible things, and it was only because of heroes like Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey that we are where we are today.
So that's why I can forgive the movie for occasionally being trite, hokey, and sometimes guilty of hero worship instead of showing Jackie Robinson as an actual human being with faults and frailties.
This isn't a movie about Jackie Robinson, so much as a movie about what he did and what he represented.
Anyway, I loved it and recommend it highly. See it for the story. See it for the exceptional baseball sequences. See it for its historical importance. See it for the star making performance by newcomer Chadwick Boseman or the Oscar-worthy performance by screen veteran Harrison Ford, who, for maybe the first time in his entire career, actually acts.
But just see it.