Updated: Jul 5, 2018
"Now don't you go through life worrying about whether somebody like you or not! You best be makin' sure that they're doin' right by you!"
-Troy Maxson, Fences
Nose. Need I say more....
Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player but was too old when the major leagues allowed for black athletes. Now, he and his Rose(Viola Davis) live in 1950s Pittsburgh with their son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). When a college football recruiter comes around looking for Cory, jealous tensions run high between Father and Son.
In all honesty, Fences is all you could ask for from a film starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington reprising their Broadway roles on-screen. More than you expect. This film provides an excellent boost to Jovan Adepo's repertoire.
Most people in the world of theater know August Wilson as a powerhouse when it comes to works of the stage and to have it translated onto the silver screen is awesome.
The power that this movie has to emotionally move an audience is astounding. The symbolism throughout is so strong and works to elevate the meaning of the film to whole new levels. It constantly shifted between physical metaphors and more spiritual or emotional metaphors. Troy's hypocrisy and all that he feared were simply right on the other side of that fence and how they were always there. Which is why it needed to be built to keep all his missteps, misfortune, or ”strikes”(as he called them) out, not realizing he was boxing himself in. Even later on in the movie when death is "there" and you could make some sense of closeness. Where he stares at it, and it’s like he is having a conversation with an actual being. And the window…. Oh, the mystery and meaning of that broken window.
It is a movie, and play really, that can’t be explained only experienced.
Honestly, there is no better experience than being blessed from the fountain of snot that flowed from Viola Davis’s nose. But, that is why she will an Oscar come early next year! She allowed herself to become “ugly” on-screen. She goes far past the point that most actors stop themselves from going past. Many actors, simply do that “one tear” and a whole lot of yelling and a whole lot of huffing and puffing. However, Viola lets the tears come down; she makes the snot come out, her face gets all scrunched up, and you can feel the heat coming off her face because it’s so hot with pain; She has a magic about her that she doesn’t hold back in this movie.
There are a couple of things that don’t quite translate from the stage to the screen.
Such as the ending with them looking up at the sky and watching the cloud’s part. I would say that it almost came off well, but cheap. For some reason, it doesn’t work for me. Even if the cameras were on their faces or kept a wide-shot letting us watch them, look at the sky, during the last part would have been better.
The setting also started to become a little stale for the screen. There wasn’t enough events going on at the house for me to keep from getting a little bored. They did switch it up little with the bar and trash lot, but it still felt a little stale.
And, to me, even Denzel was getting a little “theatrical.” He had his moments, but his acting didn’t do anything for me.
FLOOR OR DOOR?
Should it have been left on the cutting room floor or should you be running out the door to see it?
Fences is an acting movie. The level of talent is something an actor can aspire to be; everyone in this film is a powerhouse to be reckoned with. It’s not glamorous, it's not wonderfully scored, or brilliantly shot, but it’s deeply moving.