The Help (2011)

Help

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Eat my what?!

There’s something very interesting about movies regarding racism. We have so, so many films covering the same topic, but there’s something about them that doesn’t feel overdone. All of them, or at least the ones I’ve seen, have been dealt with in such a fresh, respectful light – and even the stories are all surprisingly original in my opinion. I’m not sitting at home and saying, oh god, another one? The Help was one of those movies that I was planning to watch at some point, but for some reason or another, the opportunity missed me and I got consumed in other things. I finally saw it, and of course I liked it.

Chances are, you already know the story for The Help, but if you haven’t seen it, it goes a little something like this: A young, inspiring author by the name of Skeeter (Emma Stone) is apparently the only white person on the planet that actually cares for the African American community, while everyone else are racists. Anyways, in order to get a writing job, she decides to give a sample of her writing by writing a book about house maids, and the hardships they go through on a day by day basis…the problem is that it’s so controversial that no one really wants to help her write it…yet she needs more than a dozen maids to finish the book.

This is such a great movie to tug on your heart strings, as are numerous civil rights films. It was so subtle, but so strong. It didn’t need to take you into the middle of a march with Martin Luther King Jr. to get the point across, all it needed was a small, random town and one influential young person. Skeeter is such a weird, goofy name, and yet…a fantastic character that proves that one seemingly unimportant person can make a magnificent difference just by doing something different: caring. It’s like an underdog story, because she truly is a brave and bold hero that makes a big impact for the right reasons, despite the clear risks involved.

The racism in the movie was so horrible, and I think a part of that reason was because it was primarily seen coming from women, which is more or less rare in movies. Bryce Dallas Howard, for example, is an actress that I really like, but she made me hate her here. She was such a hateful, ignorant person – or like Aibileen says in the film – godless. But again, she is such a great actress and she pulls it off amazingly. Speaking of the acting alone, the whole flippin’ cast pulled off something spectacular. If you’re like me, you’ll probably get sucked right in and believe that this was filmed in that time period. The only thing that doesn’t have the same effect, in my opinion, was Emma Stone…but that’s just me. I’m just used to seeing her in films taking place in the present. She did great in The Help as well.

The Good:

I wasn’t so sure about The Help before I saw it, but I’m glad that I did see it. It has a great message, and that message is presented through a strong presentation. The way they present hate and racism through the eyes of the modern woman was chilling, because of the way we’re brought up to think about the innocence of women. The story itself was also a subtle and relatable one that makes you truly care about these maids.

The Bad:

Honestly, not a lot. I’m not the biggest fan of movies taking place in the past. If people gave it a shot, I’m sure they’ll love it, but there are elements about the movie that aren’t super attractive, like film-length and the melodrama associated with the trailers might turn people away. So I guess the worst part of the movie is just the marketing and film-length.

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One thought on “The Help (2011)

  1. Good review Dave. The performances here are great. There’s no doubt about that in my mind. However, it did feel like it had a thousand different endings and was just going on and on to wrap everything in a neat little tie.

    Like

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