42 is a great sports movie that tells the story of an extraordinary man.



42 (2013) - IMDbStory 

42 follows the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in major league baseball.

After reading the synopsis, I knew this would be an emotional movie and I was right. Watching everything that Jackie had to go through to play baseball makes me both sad and angry at the same time. It also makes me happy seeing people in the movie do the right thing and show solidarity with him when he needs it the most. This is one of those movies that shows the best and worst of us. And how many black people were treated in the '40s and are still treated today.

Acting 

Chadwick Boseman's performance in this movie is fantastic. It's emotional, entertaining and inspiring. There is so much that Jack feels throughout the movie and Chadwick does a great job of showing the emotion without getting emotional.

The best scene is probably the most emotional one. It occurs halfway through the movie and serves as the emotional climax of the film and Jackie has been pushed so much and his reaction is due to weeks of pent up rage. It's a poignant moment because it's a break in his facade. Up until now, he's been a strong figure holding his head above the blatant taunting and racism that he has endured in this scene you see how much it has affected him and it brought a tear to my eye.



The other performances that I'm going to mention are Harrison Ford and Nicole Beharie who play Brach Rickey and Rachel Robison respectively. While Rickey is the catalyst of the events of the movie, Rachel is the emotional backbone. Hers and Jackie's relationship is what keeps him grounded and seeing it grow is much-needed levity and they have some very heartwarming moments. Even though Rachel is a secondary character, she doesn't feel like an afterthought. She's present and strong and Nicole Beharie's chemistry with Chadwick Boseman is very palpable making it very easy to watch and believe their performances.

Harrison Ford is definitely a scene-stealer. If I had watched the film without knowing who was in it I would not have been able to recognise him. And that's a good thing.  Rickey is one of those characters who is omnipresent and even though you spend most of the time with Jackie, you know enough about him to show what kind of a person he is.

Writing/Direction

This is a great movie and it's a simple one. And by that I mean, it tells a complicated story in a simple way that gets the message across while staying true to its essence. Sure it has its historical inaccuracies like every biopic but the crux of the story is there. And that comes down to Brian Helgeland direction. It's a really easy to watch in terms of runtime and direction. I paid attention to everything that was going on and the two hour run time flew by really quickly.

CGI/Set Design

The film manages to catapult you back to the '40s without shoving it in your face. You can tell from not only the demeanour of the characters but the sets around them. Don Burgess the cinematographer and the director managed to craft a film with a muted colour scheme that added to the story rather than take away from it.

Score/Soundtrack

The score is very inspirational and by that, I mean that it is very moving, especially towards the end. The score coupled with the visual lead to a sense of triumph, as well as longing and pain. Is it memorable? No, but it manages to make you feel something which is exactly what film score is supposed to do.

Overall Thoughts

A few days ago on the 28th of August, it was announced that Chadwick Boseman died due to complications with colon cancer and it really hit me. These tweets sum up how I feel...
Fun fact, I watched his, Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong'o's wired autocomplete interview a few weeks ago and I smiled the whole time watching them and it's crazy to me that I'm writing about him in the past tense seeing as he was an actor that I was and still am very aware of.

Over the past week or so, a lot of people decided to go back and revisit his filmography, watching movies like Black Panther and Get On Up. And I decided to watch this movie which I hadn't seen before today. And I wish I had seen it before because it's a really good movie. It has tension, drama, a good message and fantastic performances from the main cast. Chadwick carries this movie, he's able to show his own natural charisma while fulfilling what the role required of him. It was something he did with all his roles that I have seen (I still haven't seen Da 5 Bloods and I wish I had seen that too).

I saw a tweet going around where people showed off their favourite pictures of Chadwick. I have a few but these two are some of my favourites

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I have seen the outpouring of love he received in life and death and I hope he knew how much he impacted not just my life but the lives of so many people. Not just as T'Challa but as an actor and a person. I didn't know him personally, I wish I did but, he seemed like the kind of person you always wanted to be around and may he rest in perfect peace.

Back to the movie, 42 is the definition of a great sports movie, it tells the story of an underdog who overcame immense challenges in a system that repeatedly tried to show him that he was less than. And knowing what he was able to achieve is not only a satisfying ending for the story but is an inspiring one for every day.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing such a detailed review of the movie, 42. Clearly, such movies that depict the way people overcome the challenges in life and bounce back teach good life lessons. We can not teach and make kids understand that how blatant taunting and racism affects a person and his feelings just by preaching them about it. I think teachers and parents must watch such inspiring and lesson giving movies with the kids and do a good discussion regarding it. There are many good inspiring movies for kids that may assist teachers and parents to inculcate the values in the kids. That's how we can make this world better.

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