I watched 12 Years A Slave the other night, and finished it. If anyone asked me anything about the movie I’d reluctantly lower my coffee cup mug and reply, “There’s a guy. He gets kidnapped into slavery and can’t believe his luck for twelve years. Life sucks. I know nothing more.”
This movie’s messy. Throughout its 2h 13 mins, I never felt like I got to truly know Solomon Northup, the lead actor. Between the gobsmacked look on his face and the slow yet gruesome events happening all around him, we never get to understand his inner thought patterns- making him feel distant, confused. I really DON’T know anything else about the flick because there’s no conflict. It seemed the only story they wanted to tell is how hard slaves got whipped for dissent back in 1817.Thanks but we’ve seen that in Roots already, anything else? Nothing. Also, though it features powerful acting and some really strong cinematography, the editing is terrible. Who’s the young girl that jumps on top of him in the beginning? Don’t know. Does she mean anything to the story? No. So, why show us the girl? No reason. It’s a mess. It feels like an anti-slavery advert rather than a feature film about a man who might have come to capture all the nuances of black history for the now-generation. Northup could have become a cult figure on the level of Kunta Kinte were this movie any good. But it isn’t. That’s why no-one will reference or talk about the protagonist of the film after this awards season. Ever! In the end, it was boring. Terrible. Don’t buy into the hype!
Check out 2011’s “Shame” to see British director, Steve McQueen at his best.
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