Sunday, November 22, 2009
Movies You Should See: Precious (by Sapphire)
First off this movie is based on the book "Push" by Sapphire. The book is a heavy read and does not back down to harsh realities. A lot of people I know who dislike this book claim that it's "unrealistic" and/or "very negative." The book does not have a traditional happy ending. I will even compare it to "The Color Purple" where Celie suffers many injustices in her life but the book ends with her getting back her children and Celie and Mr being friends. (Yes, they are friends...did you read the book? Reading is SO "fun"damental!) This book just ends; and it leaves many readers dissatisfied because it has been etched in our minds that books should end happily. Well life is not always happy; sometimes it's all you can do to survive.
However, I disagree with those who think the book is too sad. There is a progression that Precious goes through from the beginning of the book to the end. The book does not end how you may want it to end but ends with "hope". And that is hope that Precious will keep striving to provide a better life for herself and her kids.
The movie is incredible. A lot of reviews I read said it was graphic and upsetting. I am assuming that the people who say that did not read the book. There were several scenes they down played in the movie that could have been traumatizing (i.e. the numerous rape scenes, the scene when Precious has "mongo", and the scene between Precious and her mother on the couch). I find the scenes with Precious and her friends at the alternative school and at the hospital after she has Abdul to be uplifting and inspiring. I do wish there had been a scene where they told the back stories of the other girls because they all had their own pain and struggles. I was slightly upset that Blue Rain was not cast properly but I do not believe it takes away from the movie. I do feel that casting her as a dark skin woman with locs would have ADDED more to the movie; but the movie is more complex than just race issues. One line that made me smile was when Precious realized that Blue Rain was a lesbian and she says her mother says gays are bad but Precious says "lesbians not the ones who raped me (parapharsing)". I did hate the fact that she stole a whole bucket of chicken when in the book it was a 2 peice meal. I mean I guess they wanted to really illustrate the whole "obesity" issue. And I loved Monique's extra ass Baltimore accent "Bitch don't nobody want YEW!"
This movie deals with a lot: incest, teen pregnancy, abuse (physical and sexual), color issues, illiteracy, obesity...and more. Precious is the girl down the street who every one picks on. She is the girl who people turn their nose up at because she is so dark and fat. She is the girl who I cried for in the middle of the movie. She is the girl I will continually pray for every night. There are real life Preciouses (is that right? LOL). I know one personally, and I will not go into the details of how I know her, but I do know that she was picked on for being different and keeping to herself when the truth of the situation was deeper than anyone realized. I probably know more but will they ever admit to what happened? Of course not, especially if their own mothers allow them to be raped.
I think this is an important movie for everyone to see. People should not be put off by Tyler Perry and Oprah's names (I don't get the TP hate at all...). Their names were added AFTER the movie received rave reviews at Sundance. And if Monique does NOT get the nomination for Best Supporting Actress, then it's racism because she killed that role. So much so, in the scene where she is talking to the social worker, I cried. And in the book I was like "fuck this bitch" but I CRIED hearing the words on screen. It was heavy.
4.5 stars out of 5.