Free Newsletter:

RSS
Grooves of Houston - Houston's Premier Upscale Nightspot

Film Review: 'Marshall' Biopic All Around Brilliant

by Todd A. Smith


 

Josh Gad, Chadwick Boseman and Sterling K. Brown (L-R) in “Marshall” (Photo Credit: Barry Wetcher/Open Road Films).

 

 

America Has to Do Better 

 

1/2


Former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once stated, “I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories.  We must dissent from the indifference.  We must dissent from the apathy.  We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”


Unfortunately, even in 2017 America still has to do better when it comes to race relations and ending systemic discrimination.


The court system is still stacked against African-Americans thanks to the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ planned reemphasis on the war on drugs.


Police brutality seems at an all time high and the most powerful men in the country seemingly still want to keep African-Americans in “their place.”


Justice Marshall fought to make any place an African-American wanted to go in life his or her place, and the biopic “Marshall” will hopefully remind the African-American community that defiance, ingenuity and a lack of fear is needed to put their oppressor back in his or her place.


The film “Marshall” directed by Reginald Hudlin (“House Party”) is pure brilliance and filled with brilliant performances by Chadwick Boseman (“Get on Up”), Josh Gad (“The Wedding Ringer”), Sterling K. Brown (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”) and Kate Hudson (“Deepwater Horizon”).


Unlike critically panned biopics like “All Eyez on Me,” the biographical drama “Marshall” does not try to place Marshall’s dynamic life into two to three hours, but instead focuses on one particular gut-wrenching case that encapsulates what Marshall’s life and legacy were all about.


Boseman portrays Marshall, at the time the sole attorney for the NAACP.


The NAACP’s mission was to fight for wrongly accused African-Americans who faced imprisonment solely because of the color of their skin and an unjust judicial system.


Brown plays Joseph Spell, an African-American chauffeur charged with the raping of his White boss, Eleanor Strubing (Hudson).


Gad plays insurance attorney Sam Friedman who is forced to take on Spell’s criminal case because Marshall needs a Connecticut lawyer to sponsor him and because Judge Foster (James Cromwell, “W.”) will not allow the esteemed NAACP attorney to speak in his courtroom.


The only downfall of “Marshall” is that moviegoers will know going in whether Spell will receive a favorable or unfavorable ruling.


However, the outcome of the criminal case in “Marshall” is not the genius of the film.


The genius of the biopic is in Marshall’s quirky but confident and strong personality played to perfection by Boseman who seems to be the go-to Hollywood actor for African-American biopics.


Marshall even makes his Jewish legal counterpart Friedman carry his bags from the train station, a job that was almost exclusively held for African-Americans during those days.


But while Boseman favored James Brown in “Get on Up” and Jackie Robinson in “42,” he obviously looks nothing like the late great legal giant.


But looks can be deceiving and there’s more to life than meets the eye.


Boseman might not pass the Marshall eye test physically, but he passes the test as far as giving a stellar performance.


“Marshall” also boasts of some great cameos like Jussie Smollett (“Empire”) as the poet extraordinaire Langston Hughes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas of the iconic pop group TLC as novelist Zora Neale Hurston.


But the most profound cameos come during the final scene with appearances by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump and the parents of the late Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin representing the fact that the more things change for the African-American community the more things stay the same.


As Marshall stated, “The United States has been called the melting pot of the world.  But it seems to me that the colored man either missed getting into the pot or he got melted down.”

 


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 13 October, 2017.
Current Comments: 0
Write Review



Back to main topic: Historical Dramas
Magazine Topics:
New Articles
All Topics
 About Us ->
 Archives ->
 Business ->
 Community ->
 Entertainment ->
   Celebrity News
   Film ->
     Academy Awards
     Action
     Action Comedy
     Action Films
     Adventure
     Animation
     Biopics
     Blaxploitation
     Book Adaptations
     Buddy Comedies
     Comedy
     Comedy/Romantic Comedy
     Comic Book Movies
     Coming of Age Films
     Crime Movies
     Dark Comedy
     DC Comic Films
     Documentaries
     Drama
     Dramedy
     DVD Reviews
     Gangster Flicks
     Heist Films
     Historical Dramas
     Holiday Films
     Horror
     Horror/Suspense
     Inspirational Films
     Martial Arts Films
     Marvel Films
     Musicals
     Mystery
     Noir
     Period Pieces
     Prequels
     Psychological Thrillers
     Religious Films
     Romance
     RomCom
     Satire
     Sci-Fi
     Science Fiction
     Sequels
     Shorts
     Spoofs
     Sports Films
     Spy Films
     Superhero Movies
     Suspense
     Thrillers
     True Stories
     War Films
     Westerns
   Live Productions
   Music ->
   Pop Culture
   Regal Roundtable
   Stand Up Comedy
   Television ->
 Lifestyle ->
 Opinion ->
 Regal Queens
 Sports ->
Articles RSS Feed