After watching the Golden Globes and seeing 12 Years a Slave rake in the nominations and even take out Best Picture Drama, I decided I had no choice but to go and see it. I had heard it was fairly depressing but being the naive youngin’ that I am, I decided it really couldn’t be that bad.. This is coming from someone who still cries every time they watch The Notebook.
From the word go, this film was sad.
Steve McQueen was not going to wean me into it, and I literally had tears in my eyes from about the 15 minute mark until the credits rolled (in The Notebook I tend to save my tears for when I curl up in a ball on the floor after the film ends).
There was whipping, there was lashing, there was “nigger” bashing. It was devastating.
Now I don’t want to let all this sadness deter you from the film. It was utterly fantastic. It was a jaw-dropping insight into slavery that encourages us to question the values of the human race, and I think unintentionally even made me feel somewhat guilty (albeit grateful) for my privileged lifestyle.
There was only one major let down, and that was Brad Pitt’s character- and trust me when I say it is a strange thing for me to diss any role that the God-like man himself BRAD PITT takes on. However in this case I found him more painful to watch than the lashing.. He was the one character who truly sympathized with the slaves, and the one white character who stood up for equality- here comes the producer to the rescue!! It was somewhat a bit of a cliche..
12 Years a Slave is definitely a must-see-once kind of film. I don’t think I could bring myself to watch it again despite appreciating its brilliance, but would highly recommend it- just make sure you’re prepared for a tear-jerker.