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Film Review – 42: The Jackie Robinson Story

Director: Brian Helgeland
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Nicole Beharie.
Genre: Biographical

42 tells the story of Jacki  Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) who becomes the first African American to break the baseball colour barrier with the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) who signs him on even though everybody is against this.
The film focuses mostly on the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season with emphasis on Robinson’s battle with racism. It tells the story of how Robinson deals with the way he is treated as the only black person in the team. He faces prejudice not only from the fans but from his team mates too. Rickey guides Robinson and makes sure he gets the best trainers and coaches to enhance his skills to make him the best player in the team.
The overall acting is nothing to write home about but Ford saves the day and the film. As usual, he just outdid himself, playing his role to perfection which is what every film lover would expect from such a seasoned actor. I like the fact that not many special effects were used in the film which help to make it authentic and people can relate to it. But because of this the quality looks bad and makes the film look like a low budget movie.
42 is a very heart warming film and sad at the same time. It shows how a person can be put down and go through a lot of painful things but still manage to rise above all of it. The most disturbing part of this film is when Robinson is taunted by the opposing team’s manager calling him all kind of ugly names like monkey. The audience can relate to this because it still happens to this very day where black soccer players are thrown with bananas and called monkeys, but the only difference is that today this is no longer acceptable social behaviour.
But it is just so funny that 69 years later the human race still has race issues. It does not matter how advanced we became over the years, with technology, science, etc, we still can not get over a person’s skin colour. To me that is not moving forward at all, we still have a long way to go. I also love the fact that there is a happy ending here, because I am a sucker for happy endings. The film’s most glorious moment is when Robinson becomes one of the best baseball players to date and his team won the season that year. He also paved the way for other black players to be able to play major league baseball. A very good movie to watch which will make you sad and happy at the same time. When you do watch it be sure to have a lot of tissues by your side as you will certainly develop teary eyes.

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