Fruitvale Station

MBJ and Kevin Durand/photo:latimes.com
MBJ and Kevin Durand/photo:latimes.com

Fruitvale Station is one of those movies you watch already knowing the ending.   So, let me say from the onset, movies like these are usually grievous to watch.   It’s like watching the Titanic, but I wanted to see this one, because the lead actor is a natural and a joy to watch on screen.

His name is, Michael B. Jordan, Chronicle, Friday Night Lights, no relation to the basketball star, and yet, there’s not enough positive adjective to describe his acting greatness.   This was the best acting I’ve seen all year so far.   Kind of like the basketball star in his glory days.   Suffice it to say, understated elegance.

However, it doesn’t hurt that the writing was extremely well done, and understated either.   Newcomer, writer/director Ryan Coogler, wrote this film with great care, showcasing all sides of this character, not painting a picture of Oscar Grant as a saint.   Showing a true depiction of life for a working class black man, in this country.

If I was family to Oscar Grant, I would thank this writer and the actors, for paying homage to the fallen young man.   All the actors were good and mostly newcomers, which gave the movie freshness.  To paraphrase the writer/director, “it made Oscar’s short life tangible.”

This movie reminded me, that whatever good we see in ourselves, there are always spans of contradiction in our character, we have good days, and bad.   Days we are glad our closest friends didn’t witness, and days when we totally hit the mark.   This was Oscar’s story, in fact this is everyone’s story.   Ups and downs, the good, the bad, and the hideous.

The premise of the story is, a unarmed young black man, and friends decide to go to “The City,” as they called it, on New Year’s Eve.   His mom suggests he and his friends take the train, and so the story goes.   Since, this is a true story and many people saw his murder, either on YouTube, or in person, it gives the movie a kind of weird tenor, when you walk in and sit down.   It feels like your about to watch a reenactment of something no one should see more than once, and you’ve now paid, to watch it again.

It felt wrong, I’ve seen the cell phone video of his murder, I’ve heard about the cop who shot him.   I know that black people in this country can perpetuate racial problems, just by using certain word phrases with each other.

Yet, I stayed because I had to see how they handled this story.   What would they focus on, how or would they try to justify anyone’s actions in the movie?   To my surprise, they didn’t do any of that.   They just told the story from Oscar’s family, and friends perspective and that was it.   I give this movie a grade of B, this movie is rated R, not for children, and this movie also has a ***Safty Alert*** because of a dubious relationship, and the “N” word use, and not just once or twice, but endlessly.  Having said that, it is a good movie to see, and talk about with your older kids. Shazza ~ Musings&Rants

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