42 (2013) gives its audience a feeling of sympathy towards Jackie Robinson while also having you feel a burning hatred towards the people that mistreated him. The movie 42 is a time portal back to the 1940’s when soldiers were returning home from war, baseball was America’s sport, and segregation was still occurring. It is the true story of Jackie Robinson’s (Chadwick Boseman) first two years in the big leagues of baseball. The trials and tribulations that he had to overcome as a result of being the first negro baseball player to play in the Major Leagues really gave me insight on what it was like to be an African American in the 1940’s. A scene where African Americans had their private entrance into a ballpark that was separated from the whites only scratched the surface that is the main issue of the film: racism. Director Brian Helgeland did a great job showing the audience the perspective of racism through the eyes of the African Americans, and more specifically Jackie Robinson. The fact that people, such as Phillies’ manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk), would yell derogatory things to him and that he couldn’t fight back would cause me to sympathize for Jackie. In that same scene Jackie breaks down in the dugout because the racist hecklers, specifically Chapman, were wearing him down. Helgeland did a great job at showing us that Robinson was not immortal to feelings, but rather that he was human like all of us. No matter what someone shows on the exterior, they may be feeling different on the inside.
The film wasn’t all good, however. The problem with making a film in this time period is that there are so many other factors that can be left out. For instance, the Civil Rights movements that played a role in making Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) decide that segregated baseball needed to change. There are just so many other aspects that influence the movie and its characters that weren’t included in the film.
I would not recommend this movie...
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