Hidden Figures – Film Review

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

Hidden Figures is a film inspired by true events about the contribution of the African American community in putting man into space.

     Set in the 1960s at the height of the cold war and in the middle of the space race, this film follows three highly intelligent women working as “computers” – people who do the mundane computing and crunching of data – as they try to make it up the ranks and contribute to the ongoing mission to launch the first manned spacecraft to orbit earth. How they go about doing this and overcome the challenges thrown at them is what the film is about.

What’s good?

The film has shown the racial and gender divide in 1960s America very well. Especially for viewers who are not aware of the civil rights movement, this film will be an eye opener. Everything from coloured people having separate bathrooms or libraries or even separate seats in the bus is shown in this film. It really makes the viewer squirm in disgust while showing many such divisive situations that the leading ladies go through. The film is filled with some beautiful emotionally charged moments and elevates it from being a good film to being a great film.

What’s not?

Whatever flaws in this film is negligible. However cinematically speaking, one does feel that the film could have used some more drama in the final act. But this does not take anything away from an amazing film experience in any way.

Performances

All three leading ladies do a great job with their respective roles. Taraji P.Henson plays a character who is a math genius and does an commendable job. She brings out the frustration of a person who is just as smart as her male contemporaries but is hampered by the existing prejudices against women and people of colour very well. Octavia Spencer brings a certain shrewdness to her character of a middle aged manager whose job is about to get obsolete due to technology. Janelle Monae does a great job in bringing strength and a certain steely resolve to a character who is fighting for her right to enroll for a higher educational degree which will help her get her dream job at NASA. Kevin Costner as the head of NASA’s program to put man in space is good. Jim Parsons seems to be playing a slightly similar role to the one he plays in big bang theory and is wasted in a small role. Rest of the cast is good in their respective roles.

Final Word

A look into the racist society of 1960s America, the film is a moving tale of gender equality and overcoming racism. A must watch!

 


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