Today I went to watch the movie 42. As I am on vacation at the moment, this meant that I could go during the middle of the day, the middle of the week. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am alarmingly soft-hearted when it comes to crying. I cry during regular commercials (not sappy ASPCA PSAs, though those too, but AT&T “Pure Imagination” commercials, for serious). So of course, going to a theatre where there is only me and two other old ladies, both spaced far enough away to not hear (or pretend not to hear) my sniffles, is a great thing. Because this is a very moving film.
For those who don’t know (and WHO could that be?) anything about 42: 42 was the player number of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player to play in major-league baseball (for the Brooklyn Dodgers). Obviously the movie is filled with what is fairly alarming levels of racism. Living in the south, sadly I have heard my fair share of racist comments … more than my fair share as I feel that I should hear none. Racism (sexism, hatred towards homosexuals, immigrants, religious groups, ect) is stupid. Though it can be hard to watch this movie at times (Alan Tudyk, of Firefly fame, has an extended scene – goes on for what feels like forever – where he does nothing but shout racist slurs against Jackie as he is at the plate) it does a good job of relating the strength of the man by highlighting the harsh nature of the times.
Harrison Ford, who plays Branch Rickey the President of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, delivers what I feel is his best performance in years. Alan Tudyk, who I mentioned before, plays a racist bastard amazingly well (unless, of course, he IS a racist bastard, then not so much). Christopher Meloni (Law and Order: SVU!) is … well … him.
Chadwick Boseman, who played the famous Jackie Robinson (and I’m fairly sure I saw in Law and Order at some point because who HASN’T been in L&O), did a wonderful job. Emotionally pitch perfect throughout; be it scenes with his wife (Nicole Beharie, who did a fantastic job herself and I’ve probably also seen on L&O), with his team, with Rickey, or with racist bastards, he stands out and stands well. He also plays damn good Hollywood baseball.
All in all a fantastic movie. For anyone waiting for mentions of epileptic triggers, the only thing I could mention would be the flashbulbs wielded by field reporters/photographers. Didn’t bother me, but if you’re extremely photosensitive, it is something to think about, I suppose!
(On an extended note: I REALLY want to see “Now You See Me”!)