Saturday, February 14, 2015

Movie Review ... Selma


Selma posterSometimes one person can make a difference.  Galvanising others to help right injustices, a lone voice can become an oasis in a desolate wilderness.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. was unafraid in making himself heard.  Charting a turning point in American history, ‘Selma’ displays much of the fiery passion driving King in attempting equality for all.

Tired of the endless racial discrimination against American Blacks in 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. (David Oyelowo) takes a stand.  Determined to achieve equal voting rights, he gathered like-minded groups to make their thoughts heard.  Marching from the township of Selma to Montgomery, King, with the support of wife Coretta (Carmen Ejogo), wanted to create history.  Against violent opposition, the price of victory would mark a milestone in American society.

‘Selma’ is a fascinating examination of recent history.  Fighting against racism and apathy, King had major hurdles to overcome.  His dealings with President Lyndon Johnson, effectively played by Tom Wilkinson, show that smart political brinkmanship was crucial.  Negotiating with various factions with their own ideas on handling situations, King’s efforts are all the more remarkable.  Oyelowo perfectly embodies King’s sense of justice and magnetic charisma. 

The strong script is anchored by Oyelowo’s performance.  Wisely keeping the obligatory ‘preaching from the pulpit’ scenes to a minimum, it instead concentrates on King’s fellow activists and home-life.  Refusing to shy away from some of his less than noble personal traits, the story doesn’t portray him as a religious deity. Instead it shows his inspirational leadership to followers desperate to eradicate a dreadful situation.  The disgraceful attitude of decision makers of the time beggars belief making one amazed these events only occurred half a century ago.

Gripping and powerful, ‘Selma’ tells a remarkable true tale.  One could only imagine what King would have thought of the current American President.  No doubt he would be pleased his efforts indeed made a difference providing the opportunity to reach potential all deserved.

  Selma 73


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  8

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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