This review has been written on a special demand by my friend from UK who goes by the penname Misfit Vinegaroon.
Year of Release: 2017
Detroit is based on the Algiers Motel incident during Detroit’s 1967 Twelfth Street Riot. The movie dramatizes the incident, what led to it and what followed afterwards on the basis of the possible disputed sources of the incident.
What I liked/loved about the film: –
The film exhibits excellence in almost every aspect involved in its making and the heart of the same lies in the performances of the cast. The actors have shown exemplary skills in the movie’s tensed atmosphere and Will Poulter was the most magnetic of all. He is vicious, vile and virulent and completely convincing in what he portrays. Getting into the skin of the character, he is not just an effective antagonist but also literally steers the flow of the movie single handedly. Every other character in that scenario seemed like (and rightly so according to the story) running in accordance to Poulter’s actions and decisions. He deserves to be nominated for the Oscars in the upcoming season and I would be even more glad if he wins one. Algee Smith nails it with his poignant portrayal of Larry Reed and John Boyega justifies the maturity of his character Melvin Desmukes pretty well. Hannah Murray (popularly known as Gilly from Game Of Thrones) efficaciously delivers a strong performance. Jason Mitchell and John Krasinski make powerful cameos.
While it does seem that Poulter steered the film, the real steerer was ofcourse Kathryn Bigelow. Her directional acumen and perspicacity is exceptional and she has proved it again and again. I never thought that she could do justice to the standards she set after directing Zero Dark Thirty and I’m glad that she has proven me wrong. Capitalising on every possible sentiment that should have been raised on a serious issue like racism and police hooliganism, she makes the best out of Mark Boal’s screenplay and feeds it to the audience neatly. Boal’s writing is sterling and he has crafted his script with sheer insight and intelligence. The character development is constructive and the tension is the ambience is well sustained supported ably by Barry Ackroyd’s sublime cinematography work.
What irked me about the film: –
No doubt, Detroit is an engrossing flick, its greatest problem lies in the fact that it runs much longer than it should have. The main incident should have been brought up within the first 20 minutes without much lingering with the backdrops of the characters. The same could have been done in flashbacks during the ordeal of the victims and that would have been more poignant along with being useful is exploring the backdrops of potentially strong characters like Anthony Mackie’s Greene. That’s because a soldier having served his country faithfully for years and finally retiring to face discrimination, humiliation and abuse on the basis of his skin colour could have been one of the most moving elements of the story; but sadly it has been overlooked blatantly.
Final Verdict: –
Detroit is a masterpiece and easily one of the best movies of the year. It’s one of the strongest contenders for the Oscars in the upcoming season and its connect with its viewers is profound owing to skilful technical work, insightful direction, writing and exceptional performances.