If you’re going to see a long awaited story be told through film, you have to see it on opening night, you just have to. This past Friday, my little sister and I went to opening night of 42 – The Story of Jackie Robinson. Since I’m an advocate for supporting Black businesses in the community, we went to Chatham 14 Theaters on 87th Street. Upon arriving to the theater, we noticed most of the news channels in Chicago were present. Inside the lobby they were interviewing Black boys from a little league baseball team. At that moment it dawned on me how huge this moment was.
Chadwick Boseman played the role of Jackie Robinson. I’m very critical when it comes to movies and acting (blame it on the one semester spent at Columbia College Chicago), and with that being said, I believe Boseman gave an outstanding performance. I later learned Boseman is a graduate of Howard University, which was the icing on the cake. HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) are known for educating students about the full Black experience, and empowering them to sharing our story, with or without words. Boseman definitely captured the anxiety, hurt, and dignity Robinson displayed as he endured needless racism in the sport of baseball.
Shout out to whoever was in charge of casting and makeup. They did a superb job. Boseman definitely resembled Jackie Robinson, and Harrison Ford could easily pass for Branch Rickey’s twin.
I’ve learned to view film biographies as a loose interpretation of what actually happened. However, it’s imperative stories like this are told. I’m sure a few details were left out and parts of the story were twisted, however, films like these create a foundation for us to build on as we continue to educate and celebrate our history.
I’m going to give “42″ four stars out of five. The film gave us insight on the struggles Jackie Robinson endured, but I would have liked for them to go deeper. The filmmakers definitely played it safe, but stories like these should cause the audience to experience an emotional roller coaster ride of anger, confusion, hope, and love.
I’d definitely see “42″ again, and plan to have it in my personal library once it’s released on DVD. I also plan on getting a “42″ Brooklyn Dodgers t-shirt or jersey in the near future. Gotta represent
Have you seen “42″? Did you enjoy the film?