Photo via Creative Commons

Derrick Baptise

Staff Writer


In our modern film landscape, the biopic is an annoyingly common staple that the general moviegoer is all too familiar with. Personally I am rather tired of them. I would much rather see movie studios spend their times bringing their audience new tales, to wow us with fantastical stories of love, triumph, and adventure.

The film industry is just way to saturated with the biopic that makes the main character a God amongst man. As if this real life person is so far beyond our grasp that we can’t even hope to be better than that person. [Insert famous person’s name] is larger than life. The aforementioned statement is the trend of most biopics nowadays.

Every year we get more and more stories such as this. These simple biopics that simply just focus on the great deeds that the character they focus on have done. But sometimes in this drool monotony that we are so rudely given by the movie studios we are given a movie that shines and stands as a paragon of not just biopics but of movies as well.

Selma is that paragon.

A movie for Dr. Martin Luther King has never been made. Selma is the first look at an intense moment in the life of the quintessential figurehead of the civil rights movement.

I’m going to go ahead and say it- I thought the film was fantastic. Director Ave DuVernay anal cinematographer Bradford Young did an excellent job of framing the shots. One such example is during the more visceral scenes within the film they indicate the grand scope of the violence instead of focusing on a few individuals. Both DuVernay and Young showcase a promising career in the movie industry and I am excited to see what they will produce in the future.

David Oyelowo’s performance is worth the ticket price alone. The movie and his projection of the character don’t treat Martin Luther King as an unassailable God. Yes Martin Luther King Jr. is present here, but he is present with all his flaws and more. While all the performances are just great, Oyelowo is simply a revelation in this movie and simply steals every scene he’s in. I can’t praise this movie enough.

This movie actually did something else to me. It made me reflect and take a look at myself. It made me think of the civil right issues that are going on nowadays in New York, in Missouri, and how people tend to turn a blind eye to events happening in our society. After the convulsion of the movie I sat in my chair thinking how could so many people not care about what was going on in that small town in Alabama but the same thing is happening today, myself included.

That’s the mark of an amazing film. You can take something significant from it and apply it to yourself.

Selma does just that. It is a much watch.