A story where bad becomes worse becomes worse and may never get to worst.
|Set in the 1840s, “12 Years a Slave” is the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York who was abducted and sold into slavery. The beginning of the film has a number of scenes out of order and out of context. When all is said and done the point appears to be to give some “interesting” vantage points into the character of Solomon, but it does just add to an overly-long runtime when most scenes in the movie provide an interesting vantage point to the character of Solomon.||2013 |
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Screenplay by: John Ridley
Based on "Twelve Years a Slave" by Solomon Northup
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender
As a slave, Solomon is sold to Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) a rather benevolent slave owner who allows his slaves to achieve the best they can be. I found him to be one of the more fascinating slave owners because he is, of course, a slave owner, but he isn’t pure evil. He also isn’t purely good as he has no problems owning slaves and selling them as objects. It’s that juxtaposition between good and evil which Cumberbatch portrayed so interestingly that really provided an intriguing point of view for the film.
I had no problem with the violence or extreme nature of the events of the film, but I think people are forgetting that this wasn’t meant to be mainstream. Brad Pitt is saved until the end as a sort of saving grace type of character; as someone who can save us and Solomon from “12 Years a Slave.” A film so brutal it tells a tale so brutal it needed to be told, and it mostly found the right balance between optimism and depravity.