Saturday, November 7, 2009
A Few Thoughts on "Precious"
Caution : Contains minor spoilers.
"Precious" is totally worth the hype. It is also sobering yet hopeful, a heavy drama that kicks you straight in the guts but still you leave feeling better for it.
It is not a very easy movie to watch. There is a lot of dark drama going on : abuse, incest, poverty. However there are also laughs, love and poignant moments. Most importantly there is hope throughout this story, you are pulling for Precious to make it through. Yes the changes to her life are not that significant by the end but you believe she's stronger and that there will be joy in her life.
And those performances. Mo'Nique is simply astonishing. She is so powerful and strong in building this character that she looms over the whole movie. I felt her presence even in the scenes where she was absent. Gabourey Sidibe is equally good although her performance has a definitive arc similar to Precious'. It goes from subdued to still subtle but strong as Precious goes from meek to willful. And who would've thought the star of Glitter had this in her. Mariah Carey is very effective in her few scenes. Paula Patton does the best with what I thought was a difficult part. I guess with all the grimness the teacher had to angelically perfect.
A lot has been said about the fantasy sequence and the sometimes jarring editing. However I found that both enhanced the story and moved it forward. Who doesn't escape to a fantasy where things are better when they are feeling down? And Precious needs to go there a lot more than most of us to escape her reality.
I also love that this movie and story stayed true to its heroine's circumstances. There was no knight in shinning armor and more importantly no white savior. We did not have a "white" guide through the movie as the case is almost always with movies with African and Black themes.
This is a very powerful piece of film making. I saw it a week ago and it is still very vivid in my mind.
And a movie that has this line "My favorite color is fluorescent beige" can't be all bad.