By Emma Brenner
On Oct. 19, the movie “The Hate U Give” entered theaters all across the United States. Screenplay writer Audrey Wells adapted the film’s story from the novel “The Hate U Give,” written by Angie Thomas. George Tillman Jr. directed a cast of big-name stars including Amandla Stenberg, rapper Common and K. J. Apa. The phenomenal talent and story shaped a film that was altogether aesthetically pleasing, thoughtful and emotionally gripping.
“The Hate U Give” focuses on 16-year-old Starr Carter who finds herself juggling two versions of herself: herself in her African American neighborhood of Garden Heights and herself in the predominantly white private school she attends. When she witnesses the police shooting her childhood friend, Khalil Harris, everything changes. Tensions between the police, her school and her neighborhood escalate, and she must choose how to use her voice.
Analyzing the film from a technical perspective, it fulfills and surpasses expectations. Stenberg adopts her role as Starr effortlessly and beautifully, capturing the emotional struggle of the teenage protagonist. The rest of the cast convinces the audience of their characters, contributing just as much poignancy to the film’s sensitive subject.
The cinematography is ingenious, reflecting moods of wealth and poverty by shifting color schemes when portraying low-income and high-income communities. In addition, the excellent film score features hip-hop and gospel influences, both of which find their roots in African-American culture.
The quality of the film’s story is also outstanding. With relatable characters and realistic situations driving the plot, it sucks in its audience with its believability. Every scene has a purpose and propels the story further with its high emotions and exploration of complex issues. These factors, combined with the relevancy of its topic, steady pacing and controversial themes, prove “The Hate U Give” to be a thought provoking film that provides an often-overlooked and misjudged minority a voice.
It’s safe to say that “The Hate U Give,” is an artistic masterpiece, leaving an impact on its audience. Its highly emotional subject of racism, mixed with police brutality, gangs and poverty, made for a raw film that reflects today’s social issues. The movie never directly pushed a political agenda. Instead, it built itself with a message on humanity, not politics, as many of the film’s makers have pointed out. Go see “The Hate U Give,” not to be persuaded one way or the other. See it to understand, to discover the beauty and to confront the conversation of race from a new perspective.