I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about 12 Years a Slave since it was released in the States a few months ago. It hit South African cinemas last week and all I have to say about it is this: only sensitive viewers might want to give this movie a skip. The rest of you? Stop whatever you’re doing and go watch this film now!
12 Years a Slave is based on the true story of Solomon Northrup. Solomon, the son of a freed slave, is lured to Washington by the promise of work. Thinking about how the money would help his family, he accepts the job offer and leaves with his new bosses. After enjoying a drunken night out with his employers, he awakens to find himself in chains. Is this a mistake, or has his trusting nature led him into danger?
- An unexpectedly star-studded cast
- The performances in this movie are all incredible
- Deep and complex characters
- Interesting story
- Emotionally engaging
- This movie doesn’t pull any punches, and some of the things the characters go through are incredibly jarring and will most likely upset sensitive viewers
- This movie isn’t fun at all, but is still an amazing film and a must see for any cinema going fan
- Takes a little while to get going
- There isn’t anything so bad that it counts negatively towards this film
I was absolutely speechless at the end of this film. 12 Years really caught me off guard with its slow start, but once it started hitting the emotional notes… wow. Steve McQueen really gets you into the skin of each of the characters, and when they suffer, you feel like you are there with them. He even gets you to sympathise for the antagonists, some of whom are less “evil” than others, but even with the darkest characters in this film, you occasionally see a flicker of goodness in them. By the end of the film you’ve really been through the emotional wringer.
I could also go on about the brilliant pacing, the characters, the great performances, but if I were to start I’m afraid I would end up writing an essay on the brilliance of this film. Let me just say this: 12 Years a Slave is one of the most emotionally moving stories to grace the cinema screen. It’s brilliantly told and is a must see for everybody (the only people who might want to skip this are those of you who are upset by the emotional intensity of the film).