Movie 'The Help:' Bite Bigger than Bark
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2011 14:09
Courage is doing what's right, despite the weakness of our flesh," exhorted the preacher. " And love is when you are compelled to put yourself in harm's way for your fellow man. If you can love your enemy then you already have the victory."
This concept may come off as a spiritual clique enforced for peace sake but it hit the big screen this summer in the outstanding film, "The Help," based on the book by Kathryn Stockett.
Director Tate Taylor and novelist Stocket, tell the story of the relationship between the white employers and the black maids in Jackson, Miss., in the 1960's and how one young journalist---Eugenia Phelan, nicknamed Skeeter,-- reaches out to the maids in order to shed light on the truth of what it's really like to be "the Help."
Skeeter, portrayed by Emma Stone, has just come back home after graduating from "Ole Miss," the University of Mississippi. As she returns home she realizes the changes. While her old friends are focused on getting married and getting maids, she has different and very unconventional plans for her life, not at all including marriage but most certainly "the help". Skeeter manages to land a job at the local newspaper writing for the "Miss Myrna" housecleaning tips column. In need of advice, Skeeter reaches out to her best friend's maid, Aibileen, played by Viola Davis, to help her answer questions sent by the readers.
Skeeter gains Aibileen's trust. It is there that Skeeter realizes that she wants to write from a new perspective---that of " the help." Knowing the peril and controversy that disclosing such raw information would bring, they muster the courage and begin writing as Aibileen shares the gruesome stories of what being "the help" is really like. Beating the odds against them, they rallyother maids to join the movement under anonymous consent. Neither Skeeter nor "the help" realize the revolution they had started until they find themselves right in the middle of it. But nothing can stop them from telling the truth.
This film's bite was much bigger than its bark. For such a humble title it really was rich in content. When you go to the theaters and the film has the entire audience laughing, crying, gasping in suspense and "ooo-ing and aaahh-ing," then that's a good movie. Everything from the acting to the screenplay writing was right on. Emma Stone did an outstanding job in her portrayal of Skeeter. Stone had the audience convinced alongside her supporting actress Davis, , and together they were unstoppable from start to finish. The acting stayed on task.
There was a definite "love-story" teaser woven into the storyline that left the audience wondering. Some may think that left the film incomplete but ultimately that was never what the film was supposed to be about.
No! This is not at all a "chick-flick." It's definitely worth seeing from both the male and female perspective. It has the perfect balance of riveting details, comedy, drama and suspense to entertain any audience regardless of gender.
For a PG-13 movie, it didn't restrict the raw and real message that "The Help" set out to accomplish. It held its ground in the box-office up against many other summer blockbusters.