Fences | Movie Review | Tolu Daniel 

While I saw this movie, I kept telling myself there’s something more about it, something more that I need to see but as the picture kept moving, images to images, conversation to conversation I saw that everything was right there in front of me the whole time. And I decided that it was a missable movie.
Everything, the heart, the Soul and the spine of the narrative is centred upon the colors of the conversations rendered.

And my word, didn’t Denzel Washington (playing Troy) outdo himself? I was particularly enthralled by the quality of the images, the angle of the cameras and how each picture takes not just the people but also the environment. 
It was certain that the producers of this movie were not just concerned with the movie but also the time and environment of the movie and this is why I think, the movie was probably worth all the hype.
I have been seeing Viola Davis( Rosalyn) everywhere literally in the last year and I think she is a tremendous talent but for whatever reasons, I didn’t think she was well suited for her part in this movie. She didn’t blend into that role of a subdued, kitchen cleaning African American woman stereotype for me. She was built for stronger characters that on my opinion.
A lot of folks will differ with me though, but I have seen her on her better days on the screen. She wasn’t as natural as she was when playing Annalise Keating in How to get away with Murder or that semi villian role she played in Suicide Squad. Not taking anything away from her since the movie academy thought her worthy of winning an Oscar award. All I’m saying is that I have seen her do better.
But then again, what is a stronger character than a woman who chooses to care for another woman’s child which was born to her husband. So maybe I am the one whose judgement needs refining. The movie talked about the same cliché of the many injustices done to black people in America, but unlike many movies it shows the failings and winings of the average black man himself. How it seems as though he chooses to blame everyone else but himself for his insecurities and his failures.
This is the first time I have heard of it but Fences was the movie adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulizer winning play which was premièred for the first time 33 years ago. Perhaps this was why it seemed as though there was a limit to the number of characters we saw. Certain characters only existed in the lips of the actors via conversations like Alberta, whom Troy was having an affair with. Catherine Shoard of the Guardian, thought the movie was completely dutiful to Wilson’s work. 
I thought the movie could have used a tune or two from oldies like Nina Simone or Ray Charles whose music lined those eras except perhaps I don’t know my music well enough.

Image credit to David Lee/ Paramount Pictures 


2 thoughts on “Fences | Movie Review | Tolu Daniel 

  1. A very beautiful movie. I think Viola flourished in her role inspite of your highlighted failings, because Denzel was director and also lead actor.
    I would say every guidance she needed Denzel provided, hence her performance.
    I think Mykelti Williamson did outstandingly well as Gabriel Maxson (Gabe), such a difficult role to interpret but did absolutely well.
    Tolu, there was a scene in this movie with an import from Yoruba culture, did you notice the part Troy asked Cory to go look or find another shovel in the house, meanwhile, they had just one. The boy insisted but the Father said he should go “find”, which was a ploy to get the boy out of the picture so he could have a convo with Bono.
    In terms of awards for the best director last year, in my opinion, there were just two outstanding picks, Denzel and Mel Gibson, Damien Chazelle could have the third position.

    Nice effort to put this movie into perspective, beautifully crafted.

    Well done.


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