BY KAREN SUROS
This article contains spoilers
This article contains spoilers
Impactful. The word alone does not do justice to all the emotions “The Hate U Give” creates inside all members of the general audience. While racial divides are a big theme throughout the film, it’s able to unify a variety of people with its strong message.
Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg) lives between two worlds. At Williamson Prep, her fancy private school, she is one version of herself- a cautious one, careful to not say anything that would make her look “ghetto,” careful to fit in. At home, she can be herself- as long she doesn’t let Williamson Starr show through, because then she’s too good for her “hood” background.
When Starr witnesses the unlawful shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), by a member of the very law enforcement meant to protect and serve society, she is faced with a serious decision. Should she speak up for her friend, or remain unproblematic and uncontroversial?
“The Hate U Give” delves into touchy subjects such as police brutality blatantly, brutally and unforgivingly. Audiences have the opportunity to see the story from a perhaps unfamiliar point of view: that of the witness.
Obviously, the event is traumatic for Starr; Stenberg delivers a stunning performance as she cycles through stages of emotions. Tragedy, numbness and fury are all delivered with a passion that leaves the viewers feeling it, too.
Another notable performance was that of Sabrina Carpenter as best-friend-turned-enemy, Hailey. She represents another point of view, a less tolerable one. Her ability to play such an ignorant and close-minded character was truly impressive.
Really, the entire cast did an amazing job. The script included just enough well-placed jokes to keep viewers from crying. Still, the film is tear-jerking and emotional.
“The Hate U Give” inspires anger at the injustices of a corrupt system. However, it’s hard to stay aggravated when the characters still manage to crack jokes and be joyful. It puts on display a family with an overwhelming sense of loyalty to their kin.
In addition to a number of funny moments, there is an element of romance brought in by Chris, played by KJ Apa.
He is Starr’s sweet Williamson boyfriend, who remains a source of support and understanding for her throughout the movie.
At over two hours, the movie is lengthy but does not allow for boredom. There’s always something to be immersed in.
Another highlight would be certainly the soundtrack. Popular tunes like “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott and “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish made for a more engaging movie.
Subjects like police brutality and systematic racism are not at all easy to address, but “The Hate U Give” approaches them unforgivingly, exposing all the injustices that accompany them.
Additionally, its main message is pressing. T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E.: The Hate U Give Little Infants F—s Us All. Tupac said it first, and it is reiterated time and time again throughout the movie. Khalil introduces the concept to Starr moments before his death. Not only does it resonate with her, but also with viewers closer to the end of the film.
The film teaches that all of the hardship given to the youth comes back to bite society in the future. It’s imperative to instill love rather than hate, respect and not contempt. Also imperative, watching “The Hate U Give” allows individuals to develop a deeper understanding and a better idea of what others are going through.
- Eye-opening and impactful
- Stellar acting conveys a strong message
- Controversial topics
- One-sided point of view
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox