Monday, 3 February 2014
Why '12 Years a Slave' is the Best Film of 2013...
Some films have the capability to touch and break your heart and open your eyes. 12 Years a Slave did just that and more.
Steve McQueen has laid bare the unflinching truth to give a purposefully uncomfortable, achingly painful insight into the 19th centuries most brutal social structure.
Based on the 19th century memoir of Solomon Northup, 12 Years a Slave follows the struggle of an educated family man from New York who was kidnapped in 1841. Enticed by the irrefusable offers from a pair of 'fellow musicians'; Solomon is lured to Washington where he is bound, beaten and stripped bare of his identity.
Chiwetel Ejitor (Solomon Northup) captures and summarizes the brutally 'real' and raw sense of being broken into a whole different world, through more than his pained expression that speaks oceans more than words. His performance is flawless. Portraying a man that is slowly broken and beaten into a submissive role containing only the remaining fragments of his former pride...somehow Northup grips onto his sanity and hope in a bid to grasp on to his former freedom. Ejitor's earthy natural, pained, melancholy eyes are heart wrenching
McQueen has fully exposed a frightening reality that for so long has been brushed beneath the carpet, in a way that makes you realize how much freedom is worth, how fortunate we are and how much we have to appreciate in this life...
Lupity Nyong's portrayal of (Patsey) gives blunt insight into the treatment of slave women, a women who is both beaten and bloodied by Tibeats (Paul Dano), the master, through his mixture of sexual lust and hatred and yet Patsey still retain a composure consisting of both delicacy and defiance - a girl with a broken spirit and yet a glimmer of hope . This newcomer captures the raw essence of a girl so caught up in slave survival mode, meaning that morality was inevitably disregarded. In spite of being given the master's 'special attentions', she withdraws guiltily and expresses brokenly to Solomon about how her conscience suffers from it, how she pleas pitifully to Solomon to do what she 'don't have the strength to do myself' - to relieve her with the freedom of death.
She demonstrates how even the most strong and experienced of slaves eventually crack beneath the surface,their dignity, ravished.
12 Years a Slave will masterfully touch your soul. It's delicate execution will break you.
This film will linger in your mind for as long as you breathe.