A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
David Oyelowo's portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. was so spot-on that I was immediately drawn in to see every detail of the film play out. I was disturbed and further curious at the same time amongst every scene that unfolded during the key moments of the film.
Basically, it featured how much King sacrificed and went through in the 1960s to maintain blacks rights to vote and eliminate segregation from all states. I couldn't believe how much violent injustice and racial discrimination were used to intimidate innocent people who were trying to have the same rights like many in America.
Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr, and rapper-actor Common brought out great performances as the individuals who stood up for what they truly believe in and they wouldn't let hate stand in their way. Tom Wilkinson's portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson was rather physically uncanny and his scenes brought out the angst of what he had to face at a time when violence was further escalating during the Civil Rights Movement. Tim Roth as Governor George Wallace made me feel to hate the man for his segregationist beliefs, but when confronted by President Johnson himself, it just got real.
The juxtaposition of real-life archive footage in the movie gave a nice touch to how very genuine these people of Selma endured plenty of horrible confrontations. Whether these usually ended in violence or even death, they just kept growing in numbers and overcome all who stood against their true beliefs in racial equality.
My only nitpick was that of President Johnson's confrontations with Martin Luther King himself. I've learned in the history books that they've had their fair share of disagreements, but nothing this intense as shown on screen. Nevertheless, it proved that being an American President was no easy feat at a very difficult time. Overall, this is a film that didn't require lengthy (moving) MLK speeches, instead it focused on tense confrontations black people had to endure and how one individual stood tall and fought back not with violence, but with powerful words and strong beliefs. I applaud David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay for providing a glimpse into how racism was overcome by one profound man whose legacy still reverberates to this day.
- Jan 23, 2015