Jan 15, 2012

The Help, 2011

The Help, 2011
Director: Tate Taylor
Cast: Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis

The Help in short:Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up -- to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter's life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories -- and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly -- and unwillingly -- caught up in the changing times.

Stage: Home cinema, late Saturday

Preps: Hm, wonderful critics. I am also aware what the movie is all about. I believe the right drama to see on a good Saturday night.

It takes me away from present and moves me to the past, where you had different times and values. I have watched a similar movie lately, only happening on a different part of the world, Aleksandrinke.
This one takes you to the core of the problem black people had in the sixties. No real value and no real appreciation. White rich girls were just in a quest to get a husband, make a few babies and that was it. No plan after that. Just black help to get you all settled in.
In this sense, black housewifes and governants (for that was what they really were), were obliged to take care of everything a housewife should, from cooking to cleaning, from groceries to ironing. And taking care of white children, instead of their own, was their job. Day and night. Sometimes they would live with their families, often in their ghetto. Their husbands highly unemployeable, they had no chance but taking it in and enduring the pain caused by white ruthless mistresses.
I feel as if white women got arrowsed by this power given to them by money. Because they spent most of the day demanding something from those black women and giving them blame for something they did or didn't do. Making them take a leak somewhere else than the normal family, eating somewhere else, giving them pennies instead of a real money, and humiliating them whenever it was or wasn't convenient.
The time was right to make a rebel yell, and you are dragged into the movie, as the journalist wanna be (that used to be exactly one of the rich white dames), decides to take an extra step and make a book out of the sad stories. Obviously she doesn't have black governants standing in line to make an open call. However, some happenings, like making someone arrested for the "horrible crime" and harrasment without comparison, make the queue in front of her book longer and longer.

The piece does have some ironically funny moments. However, the complete story is sad, yet true. It will make you think about the virtues you posess and how you behave towards someone that makes such work instead of you (giving it you aren't paying a lot for it and it sounds natural to you to exploit such resources). I believe this was a hard time for most of "different" people, naming all the people that were victims of their environment. Something out of standard, something out of proportion or expectations. Or simply poor and in need of work. At that time work wasn't honored, work was underappreciated. Because no ladies were working. I wonder what it was they were doing. This movie poses one of the options.

My personal rate: 8,0
(a good drama, worth exploring and thinking about it afterwards)

The Help on IMDB

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