Seeing that nothing new came out this week (I guess that's what happens when Martin Scorsese decides not to release his newest film), I decided to check out 12 Years A Slave. I've heard a lot about this in the past few months, but I didn't think I was going to get time to see it. In any case, this historic drama centers on the true events of Solomon Northup, a free African American who was kidnapped and put into slavery. So far, the film has received an assortment of good reviews, but what did I think of this drama?
When I walked into the theater, I figured the story would be nothing new. When you've seen one movie about slavery, you've seen them all. However, I was surprised by the overall story. What was so intriguing about the 12 Years A Slave's plot was its layers. This story didn't feel like your casual slave story. I believe 12 Years A Slave captured the conflict that was caused by slavery and how it affected everyone. Through its wonderful dialogue. this historical drama had an interesting plot from beginning to end.
I thought Steve McQueen's direction for this film was great, however I had one issue. I found some of the film's edits to be questionable. It's not that the transitions were bad; but maybe they were too long. There was a moment where Solomon is standing in the woods. There was no reason for it, he was standing there looking into the camera and that's it. Aside from having a staring contest with Chitewel, I didn't see the point of the scene. I don't think these scene were bad, but I do think McQueen was trying to be too artistic with his execution.
I was really expecting this movie to be gruesome. According to the early buzz, there was suppose to be brutality in 12 Years A Slave; which in hindsight was expected. Much to my surprise, the movie's brutality seemed tamed. Oh sure, there was violent scenes, but there wasn't anything too gruesome to watch. Well there was a detailed whipping scene, but even that could be stomach.