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12 Years a Slave (2013)I've seen a number of reviews that have described this as essential… More I've seen a number of reviews that have described this as essential viewing. But having now watched it im not sure why this is getting such high praise? If we are taking the subject of slavery what makes this any more worthy than say The Help or The Colour Purple? A number of scenes were just way too much at times for me. It was too much for me in the same way that I don't particularly like horror\slasher films and I felt that it was this films intention to shock first and foremost in a way that I didn't like. At the end I didn't feel as if my perception on life or humankind had improved in any way? It wasn't thought provoking for me except that I wondered if Solomans fight was more born out of getting back to his privileged existence rather than any motivation to do good for his fellow man. The premise of the film is that Solomon is a free black man in the 1800s. He lives in New York and enjoys a relatively privileged existence with his wife and children. He is a musician (plays the violin) and is offered a well-paid job that takes him away from home. He takes up this offer but is double crossed (due in the main to not being able to hold his drink) and sold into slavery. Initially he tries to plead his case to his captors but soon realises that the more he does this the more trouble it will mean for him. It becomes obvious wherever he goes that he is a cut above the norm but this has various drawbacks for him throughout the story. 12 Years a Slave does a fine job of creating a 1800s atmosphere, it looks great and I also liked the score very much. The cast is excellent and all of the performances are very good with a special mention for Michael Fassbender as he is a class actor in my opinion. His role in this reminded me a little of Ralph Fiennes in Schindlers List. A good film with very good performances but it didn't live up to my expectations and I think that other films have done this subject better.
17 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes