Trying to fall in love with film again.

While I loved 'Green Book' I cannot ignore some of its issues.

Green Book (2018) - IMDbStory 

Italian-American bouncer Tony 'Lip' Vallelonga is hired as a driver/bodyguard for African-American concert pianist Don Shirley who embarks on a tour of the American South in 1962.

Before you watch the movie, you can tell where it is going and that isn't a bad thing. Due to its intrinsically simple nature, the movie focuses on other things.

Acting

Movies like this tend to focus on the two main characters and they only work when the main actors work with each other. Safe to say Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali have chemistry. They are a pairing that really works.

One of the most interesting things about the acting is how organic it feels. While you watch the film, you don't see Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, you see Tony Vallelonga and Don Shirley (granted I know nothing about both men)

Viggo's character is the definition of 'rough around the edges' and is a brilliant contrast with  Maherhsala's character who is more soft-spoken. Both actors are incredibly talented and have shown time and time again.

There isn't much to say about the supporting cast because you don't spend a lot of time with them. You

Writing/Direction

The beauty of this movie is its simplicity, it never tries to be more than it is. The story isn't an original one, we've all seen movies about two very different people who come to a common understanding over the course of the film, however, it hasn't been done in this setting before. I wouldn't call this movie a comedy, but some parts of it are very funny. There are comedic scenes that are at the expense of others which I personally didn't find that funny but 90% of the comedic moments did get a reaction out of me.

The movie spends a lot of time focusing on the relationship of the main characters and because of that, it feels authentic. The relationship between the two characters feels real and organic which has a lot to do with the chemistry between the two lead actors.

One of the most shocking things about this movie is the director. This movie was directed by Peter Farrelly, the same person who directed Dumb and Dumber and its sequel as well as 'There is Something About Mary' and Movie 43 (regarded as one of the worst movies ever) but he's managed to pull off a thoughtful film with a simple premise and an almost seamless execution. It has very smooth pacing, at no point do you feel like the film is dragging because you become very invested in what is going on.

Something that I found very interesting to note, is the use of the single-camera set-up. There are not complex tracking shots. The shot composition is very clean-looking and it lends itself to the simplicity of the movie.

I say almost because there is one thing that bothers me a little bit about this film and that is its ' white saviour moments'. I understand why they are present, due to Don Shirley's helplessness when he faces racial prejudice in the South, however, when I look back on those moments it rubs me the wrong way.

Set Design

The cinematography in this film is stunning, Sean Porter did an amazing job. Seeing as this a road trip movie, you get a lot of scenes in a car, but you also get a lot of scenery shots which are absolutely stunning.  The set design isn't anything too special but the film as a whole looks period-appropriate without drawing too much attention to the fact that it set in the '60s.

Score/Soundtrack

I loved the score in this film. Kris Bowers managed to capture the heart of the film, while also making it feel appropriate. The score isn't used in a lot of scenes which makes it more present when it is used. The blend of the score and Don Shirley's piano playing is so organic, at one point you don't know where one starts and the other ends.

Overall Thoughts

After watching this movie I thought 'I have to run home and I review because it really is that good'. However, over the course of the past few days, my opinion on it has changed. And that is because my friend Saff sent this article. I recommend reading because it addresses something I hadn't thought about when I finished watching this movie.

There a few factors that I personally can't unsee now that they've been pointed out to me and while I still think Green Book is a good movie, my view of it has been slightly tarnished. I will say that most of the faults don't fall on the actors, it falls mostly on the director and the writing.

Overall I do think Green Book is worth the watch, It has a lot of heart and even though its a story we've seen before it manages to grab your attention and tug on your heartstrings.

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