The Great Debaters – Movie review

The Great Debaters…

A Movie Review

I see it only fitting to offer the review in the form of a debate: an argument for watching it and an argument for not watching it.

WHY YOU SHOULD SEE THIS MOVIE: Denzel Washington (as Melvin B. Tolson) and Forest Whitaker (as James Farmer) are inspiring and a rare breed of actors. Also, I love stories based on things that have really happened with people that have actually lived. In the film, I got a real snapshot of what life must have been like for the Negro in the ‘30s in the Deep South. This part of the show is in describable–you just have to see it.

The story centers around a debate team from Wiley School, an all-black state college. In spite of many challenges and racist roadblocks,they go up against, and beat, Harvard University in the National Debate Championships. I wanted to cry couple of times, that’s how good the acting was.However, I don’t normally cry so I didn’t – but almost. You should go see this uplifting and victorious movie. I left feeling very proud of these young men and women and would highly recommend it as we approach Martin Luther King, Jr.Day.

WHY TO FORGO SEEING THIS FILM: Well, it’s predictable AND co-produced by Oprah Winfrey, which should be enough in and of itself! It’s a familiar storyline we’ve watched over and over, reminiscent of David and Goliath: a small school goes up against the biggest of big schools and, guess what? Yep – it wins. It’s the classic ‘underdog beats up on the favorite and, against all odds.’ 

Trust me, I haven’t ruined the show for you because you’ll know that this is going to be the outcome a few minutes into it. The story comes with strong political undertones about rascism. These stir up unresolved emotions within me that I find difficult to identify and look at sometimes.

IN SUMMARY: In writing this review, I realize that sometimes

I don’t WANT to face the hard realities of the past and, even, the present.Sometimes I like my ‘pretty’little world all wrapped up with bows and ribbons.The movie has the potential to reveal the shadow of our culture and, perhaps,your relationship to it. (PS I LOVE EVERYBODY)

Thanks Locals Guide – the popcorn was great.

Reviewed by Hanksta the Gangsta; thankfully edited by my wife, Queen V.


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