Although Kathryn Stockett struggled with over 60 agents and had her novel rejected repeatedly the 2011 summer release THE HELP is been widely accepted even as you read this. Summer 2011 is not one of the best we have experienced in the lines of cinema. With just a handful of movies that would remain in our minds I consider THE HELP an exhilarating and heartwarming production that contains emotions and laughter from a time not too long ago. I have not clearly lived during the timelines the plot has been set. Infact the Civil rights movements and the efforts to create equality between color, race and religion is something I have just read during history lessons. To see it been brought to life at a time where racism and religious discrimination is frowned upon and where equality is boasted of is quite interesting. Especially to read the uprising debates the movie seems to have caused within some communities. If THE HELP is fact or fiction is irrelevant at this point. However the beauty and the depth the movie is revealed to me should not go unnoticed.
There is an aura of near perfection that seems to hover around this title. The screenplay that has been adapted by the novel itself is said to be doing extreme justice to the original text the experts say. I have not read the novel. Infact I have not read the Harry Potter novels. However this does not stop me nor did it stop those who passed judgment on the HP franchise. The magical screenplay and direction that is done by Tate Taylor who is said to be a childhood friend of the author is key ingredient. Taylor’s vision and heart is in the right place when he tries to extract the emotional lives of the black women of Jackson Mississippi. I have read many write ups about the racial atrocities that has taken place around the world. Infact I have seen with my own eyes the ethnic conflicts that stir up from some of them. THE HELP is just one of those stories that made it to the light!
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer clearly stood out with one of the best performances I have seen in recent times. They drew tears to my eyes. To be the help at the said time and to be in their situation is something that I am unable to even imagine myself in. Yet Spencer and Davis took me to 1960s Jackson. They showed me the pain and discrimination. They showed how much they gave up just making sure their children could have a better life (Although the outcome was not what they expected). The most important lesson I learnt by being in the year 2011 from the movie is that even with all the imaginable hardships of the world are upon them, they will not give up! Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer you ladies nailed it! There convincing performance was not too far away from Bryce Dallas Howard who places the other extreme end of the racial white house lady. Her ultimate goal of creating equality from within separation, Brilliant performance! Tate Taylor wanted her to come out as being mean insensitive and callous and Bryce Howard did Taylors expectations Justice. Between the help and the lords of the house there is a common ground. This is where Emma Stone comes in. I need to be honest; I was not a believer that Stone could pull through the perfect Skeeter. To my amazement she did. This Performance of Stone holds the Davis-Spencer Vs Howard battle in a balance.
Aibileen Clark who has raised 17 white children is a black woman from Jackson Mississippi. She loves the children she raises just as if they were her own. Infact the children love the help more than they love their own mothers. This is only fair since the mothers of the time showed seem to have got their priorities pretty mixed up! Minny Jackson who works for the Holbrook house walks out one day after failing to tolerate the cruelty of the lady of the house. Jackson Journal writer Skeeter returns home after her graduation to find out that her maid Constantine who has raised all her life has been sent away by her mother. Skeeter who does not respond to this very well takes up to write the stories of black women and their emotional struggle for survival. However she is unable to find a volunteer who would share with her.
THE HELP is a must watch drama and is indeed one of a kind. Guaranteed to have you balling out by the end of the movie and will make you look harder into yourself. A movie from the point of view of the help a movie that deserves a nod at the Oscars!
Title: THE HELP
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard
Rated: PG13 for thematic material