THE HATE U GIVE – Review by Gadi Elkon

I'll let Tupac explain the inspiration behind the book and the film, T.H.U.G….     

Here is my full review of the film, The Hate U Give.

Before we jump into the movie I think It is helpful to hear from the author about why she wrote this story in the first place.

Director George Tillman Jr. has spent the last few years on TV sets like: THIS IS US, LUKE CAGE and POWER.  But he's produced films like Mudbound which tackle race inequality straight on.  Tillman and Audrey Wells bringing Angie Thomas' novel to the big screen is one of the year's most moving films.  A movie that seems so timely and important to our current broken times.  Tillman sticks to following our lead actress through all the issues involved in telling the truth of her friend's death.  STARR CARTER is played by Amandla Stenberg who like her character has a name that means something more.  In Zulu and Xhosa Amandla is "Power".  This young actress embodies her name's meaning so wonderfully in the film and each scene she is in shines brightly.  A powerful presence that holds strong throughout the full film.  In a terrific cast, Russell Hornsby's intensity matches Stenberg's and allows for one of the year's more moving portrayals as he brings to life Starr's father Maverick "Mav" Carter.  Rounding out the family are Regina Hall as the stoic matriarch Lisa and Starr's siblings are SEVEN (Lamar Johnson) and SEKANI (TJ Wright).  A family living in two worlds that has to straddle the lines in both just to fully stay completely together.  The film does a wonderful job of showing all the different elements tugging the kids and the parents into different sides of town.  Whether it's the gang element showcased through Anthony Mackie's quiet menacing performance as KING or Common as Lisa's brother who is a successful police officer.  The kids are caught in the middle, especially the unique subplot of Seven's true mother figure.  Starr and her brothers are also split between the wealthy white school world and the harsher reality of their home environment.   The universality gained from this diversity showcased really allows for this film to hopefully impact all races that see it.  One scene I think will impact any audience member no matter race, is between Common's Uncle Carlos and Amandla's Starr.  She asks him what would he have done if he had pulled over Khalil (Algee Smith) and his response and her follow up get to the real heart of the struggle of this terrible issue that continues to impact our country.  Teen films are so embattled to be hip and cool and this movie does a wonderful job of pointing this out.  In the end, the family's unique dynamic is what makes the movie so intriguing.  The duo of editors Alex Blatt and Craig Hayes add a real punch with their documentary and big budget film backgrounds.  They allow for a pacing that makes the 2 hours and 12 minutes seem much shorter.  Even with that quality editing job the film does have perfectly place moments of insight.  Overall a film that is profound for its subject matter, its tremendous acting and Tillman's team making the film look and sound great.  

Check out our Facebook Page to see an interview with Dallas Hip Hop Artist Bobby Sessions who discusses his own family's tragic police shooting background, the importance of making music that says something important to the community, and much more!   

Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Written By Audrey Wells, (Based on the Novel by) Angie Thomas
Rated PG-13
Selig Rating A
Running Time 2hr  12min
Crime, Drama
Limited Release October 5th Magnolia Theater, Everywhere October 19th
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Common, Anthony Mackie, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae
 
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.

Connect with The Hate U Give Online:
Visit the The Hate U Give WEBSITE:
http://www.TheHateUGive.com
         

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