I expected the movie to be good. I just didn’t expect it to inspire me and move me as much as it did.
Now, I didn’t read the book (although I plan to very soon), so I can’t say for sure whether or not the movie was better than the book. But for someone who didn’t really have much of a back story or any knowledge of what the book was about, I thought the movie was really well done.
The story takes place in the late 1960’s. It follows a young woman, named Skeeter, who is intent on becoming a journalist/novelist. She comes up with an idea to write a novel from the perspective of “the help”, the black maids hired out to work for the wealthy white women of Jackson, MI. She doesn’t realize how much their stories will change her perspective and ultimately her life. Skeeter is shocked, and you, as the viewer will be too, as Abiline and Minnie share their heart wrenching stories of what they have been through.
The acting was some of the best I’ve seen. I thought the cast did an excellent job of portraying their assigned roles very convincingly. I cheered for Abiline throughout the whole movie, laughed as Minnie told the story about the infamous pie, was devastated upon discovering the underlying rascism in Stewart and watching him and Skeeter break up, prayed for Elizabeth to grow a backbone, and wanted Hilly to get what she had coming. The movie and the acting pulled me in, so much so, that I felt I was right along side the characters on their journey.
Watching the movie, I think what really gripped me was the fact that these events didn’t happen too long ago. Even though I know the history of the United States and the Civil Rights Movement, it’s often easy to forget how bad things really were. It’s even more easy to forget the fact that this story took place in 1968! That was only 44 years ago! It was a reminder to me that racism still exists, even today, and we should all do everything we can to promote equality, love, and acceptance.
The other thing that stood out was the contrast between women in the 1960’s and women today. Today, women are encouraged to go to college, pursue careers, and not settle down too soon. I haven’t researched this, but upon my observation, it seems as though the average person marries in their late 20’s or early 30’s. I’m 24 and just got married and the amount of people who exclaimed, “You are so young!” was mind boggling to me. Most of them don’t know me, don’t know my history, or the fact that I have a career and had been dating my now husband for 7 years. Don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should be able to marry or not marry whenever they want and I am all about empowering women to determine their own futures. I just wish others would give me the same courtesy.
I think it’s so easy for culture to get caught up in extremes. In the 1960’s everybody had to have a husband and a baby by the time they were 20. Now, women are often looked down upon for making this same decision. Can’t we find a happy medium? What may work for someone, may not work for someone else.
The Help is a worthwile movie, and I’m sure, a worthwile read. There are important lessons throughout the movie for all of us to learn. I’ll reiterate what I said before. We should all do everything we can to promote equality, love, and acceptance.