Selma Takes You Along with Martin Luther King's Heroic Journey
By Leonardo Matone, Junior Writer
Photo courtesy of Selmamovie.com
The movie Selma takes an interesting look at the story of Martin Luther King Junior, played by David Oyelowo, directed by Ava DuVernay, and written by Paul Webb. Selma circulates around King's journey from Selma to Montgomery, painting a picture of the oppression he faced during his campaign to gain voting rights.
Selma begins with King rehearsing for one of his speeches. An interesting part of the movie is that the writers did not own his original speeches, so they had to write their own. Unfortunately this makes the film less historically accurate, but it is interesting to see how Oyelowo uses his skills to support King's cause in a different way than the historically accurate speeches show us.
Later in the movie, we are shown grotesque scenes where innocent people are murdered and beaten because of their race and color. The movie does portray the truth, but it goes beyond what the audience is expecting to see. However, all comes to a good end when King and his fellow men reach Montgomery, where King gives an emotional speech on the state of people in the world, leaving the audience with a feeling of happiness and content.
David Oyelowo’s performance in the role of Martin Luther King Jr. is stellar. He portrays King as a focused and determined man, utterly concentrated of his task at hand. His performance is only improved by the supporting actors, Carmen Ejogo as a stern yet loving Coretta Scott King, Oprah Winfrey as a frightened but determined Annie Lee Cooper, and Tom Wilkinson as a stubborn Lyndon B. Johnson. Orchestrated by Ava DeVernay, they work together to create an accurate depiction of the march from Selma to Montgomery.
One of the interesting things that the movie does is dive into King's personal life by giving us a good look at his desires and ambitions. We see his struggles with the people around him, his wife sometimes fearing for their safety, the President somewhat reluctant to give them voting rights, and others doubting and fearing the outcome of the march. But King persists through it all, saying later in the movie, that he does not care about his own safety as much as the next generations to come. King’s bravery in these difficult situations is truly inspiring, leaving the watcher amazed.
Ava DeVernay depicts the astounding story that is Martin Luther King's march from Selma to Montgomery in a new and interesting way, refreshing the public's knowledge of King's life, and the amazing story that is the abolishing of segregation. The way it is depicted will make you understand the terror that African Americans went through, the sadness they felt at their losses, and the happiness they felt when they won their rights, and pushed the giant foot of America forward. Overall, Selma is a heartwarming and inspiring story, showing that anything can be overcome.
Christian Colson, Best Picture
Oprah Winfrey, Actress in a Supporting Role
Dede Gardener, Best Picture
Jimmy Kleiner, Best Picture
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