42 (2013) - This film wears its heart on its sleeve. And you know what? That’s okay. The jaded, more cynical movie critic in me would tell you that this film is too manipulative, too contrived, and too hokey. But that would require me to ignore the fact that this film is an undeniable crowd-pleaser. That it is a feel-good film that is supposed to invoke an emotional response. And why shouldn’t it? It’s about Jackie Robinson, for Christ’s sake. What a triumphant, compelling, and touching story.
Is the musical score overwrought? Perhaps, but nobody has ever made that accusation about such films as Jaws or Indiana Jones. Is the film overly melodramatic? Perhaps, but again, that accusation wouldn’t be made against Shawshank Redemption (and unlike that film, this is a true story). Does the slow motion, camera work, dialogue, and character interactions serve only to heighten the drama so that it is more artificial while being more black-and-white at the same time? Again, perhaps, but is not that the point? I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I allowed myself to view it not as a critic but as an audience member, and boy, does it please.
If you love baseball, like I do, or simply want to see a feel-good film, go see 42.
- R. Carrier
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