12 Years A Slave 2014
I don't want to survive. I want to live.
Wow! What emotional punch to the kidneys.
and i'm down..
This film highlights the twisted opportunistic agendas of man rearing it's ugly head.
And Tarantino is no where to be seen.
There is no Jango, no Samuel, no Di-Caps or that gun toting style of film. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Jango but 12YAS takes it grittier & more confronting than any other piece of cinema offering up a historical serving of humanity at it's lowest.
Instead this powerhouse is Directed by the man sharing a great escaped name Steve McQueen. Previous projects involved Michael Fassbender who I will get to later.
The film is brutally confronting of the slave trade and carries heavy racist overtones. What make this a MUST SEE is not just the acting by the cast which is brilliant, but by the arduous journey of Solomon.
Set around the 1850's, Solomon Northup played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (SALT & 2012) is a normal family man and at this stage most importantly - a FREE man.
It is not until his betrayal & kidnapping rendering him in shackles that he starts to learn the severity of his circumstances. Play along and you will live to see another day. This when I recall Eddie Murphy's line from Delirious "Suck my Dick Mass-er!"
The audience must endure the cruel injustice of agonising and the humiliating stripping of freedom of Solomon Northup into nothing more than another worthless livestock to be used and abused.
Some scenes are quite brutal as you would expect from an accurate portrayal of 1850's ripe with slavery and may induce some cringes.
Small wins, ever so small wins by Solomon almost make you jump out of your seat and fist pump with a "yeah" & "that's one for the good guys". Sadly most of these"wins" are short lived as Solomon's situation goes from bad to worse to near unbearable for him to simply survive day to day.
"I don't want to survive. I want to live."
A great line from Solomon who struggles with his circumstances & slowly understands the broken spirits of other men & women.
What kind of life can one have when you work yourself to near death, are humiliated & condemned based on your race and seemingly death seems to be the only way out?
Michael Fassbender, who I first recall from Xmen First Class but then also the sex addict in Shame, plays the biblically righteous Edwin Epps whose fiery temper & inhumane treatment of others makes for the perfect antagonist that you love to loathe. Anytime he present on the screen, his smug, improper mis-conception of the world of "we are not equal" emanates from Fassbenders dialogue.
The right amount of Pitt is injected into the film as to not overpower or deter from the immersed audience. Bass played by Pitt, someone sypathetic to the way things are and they way Solomon is treated.
The movie is emotionally draining but the more you watch the more you want to watch. It is a MUST SEE on the account of it being a bitter-sweet piece of cinema.
I give this one -
out of 10.