The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
IMDb's 1,000 words max. limit seemed quite generous until I was faced with reviewing this one. For how could a mere thousand words adequately express the thoughts and feelings generated by sitting through two hours of watching a Lennon or McCartney, a Dion or a Jackson gradually taking hold of her God-given talents and rising to super-stardom only to have it cut short by what must be one of the most vile acts of murder the planet has ever witnessed. What if the first few hit singles or the first couple of albums of ABBA were all we ever got to hear because Agnetha or Frida was murdered at that point? It even goes so far as to make you wonder about the Beatles, even Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven.
I admit I was a bit nervous when I rented the movie because I was worried that a sub-standard job may have been done to capture the short life of this young woman. Her music was really just the outcome of her virtuous self and the incredible qualities of courage, a genuine love for humanity, and a deep-seated patience that she obviously clung to. For, as the film points out, a Mexican-American singer is not easily accepted by Americans nor by the Mexicans. Selena also had to work at brining about unity among her family such as with her father's acceptance of her marriage. Needless to say, the film did not disappoint me in the least, for it portrayed this truth with class.
Fortunately, the film did not "sugar-coat" the characters, as many biographical movies do - it confidently revealed the mistakes and some undesirable traits in the people it portrayed. In fact, the characters were so real, I forgot several times that I was watching a movie and thought I was sitting with these people laughing with them and sharing in their joy and in their pain. Jennifer Lopez was absolutely outstanding. There was so much depth, richness, and naturalness in her acting.
I recognise also that it must have been very difficult for the actress who played Yolanda (manager of Selena's fan club and her murderer). To play the villain in order to help raise awareness of the life of a fabulous soul would be very difficult indeed.
The beautiful candle-light vigils shown at the end of the film made me regret very much having not lived in Texas and been part of them at the time. I especially appreciated the fact that the film did not make Selena's death its focal point. It was much more of a celebration of the contribution she made in brining joy to the hearts of an unhappy world. This was its focus, even though Selena's death gave me a very sharp sting and made me cry. It is so sad but it cheers me that this film was made and that such a superb job was done on it. Thank you to all who worked on making this excellent film. (10 out of 10).
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