Friday, April 12, 2013

42: The True Story of an American Legend (2013): Review

Tonight for Friday Movie Night I went and saw 42, a movie based on the life of Jackie Robinson, the first African American Baseball player to play in the major league.  I liked this movie and enjoyed how it took a very character focused drama approach to the story.  Although there were some points that were slow and sluggish with the story overall it was worth seeing.
42 is a movie based on the true life of Jackie Robinson following the year leading up to and the first year of him playing baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It starts with Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford deciding that he wants to recruit Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, to play for Montreal and then Brooklyn.  Jackie is charged to play the game without fighting and giving people the fodder that they want to keep baseball segregated.  It is character driven and focuses on the relationships between Jackie, Rickey, Rachel Robinson (Jackie's wife) and his fellow baseballers both supportive and discouraging toward him and what he represents.  This movie is set in 1946 and 1947.
Going into this movie I was only minimally knowledgeable about the story.  I knew who Jackie Robinson was and was familiar with the name but did not know really anything specific about his career.  I would not call myself a sports fan but I like to watch a few baseball games throughout the year and by support my local team but the love of baseball did not prompt me to see this movie.  My like of seeing character driven movies that encourage people to beat adversity and follow their dreams encouraged me to see this movie. I am glad that I went and saw it and feel that even those who are not huge sports or baseball fans will like this movie.  Like I said it is focused on the interactions between the character and they just happen to have the backdrop of baseball.  I think that this movie was well acted and all of the actors keep up with each other.  I liked Harrison Ford as the curmudgeon old man who keeps this story going and Chadwick Boseman has a quality that has you rooting for him.
This movie does not have a lot of action and at times goes a bit slow.  It is not focused on showing baseball games with a focus on the drama of the game, instead just letting it be part of the interactions of the characters.  There is a lot of use of the N word in this movie but it is in context of the times and how it was used to be very disrespectful toward Jackie.  I did not find it was used for shock value, but that it was part of the struggles that were a part of this time in history.
I think that this is a movie that many will enjoy and that it was interesting to watch it all play out.

My Rating: 3-

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