“The Hate U Give” blows my expectations

Nya Perry, Contributing Writer

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There is always one topic of conversation that makes you and almost everyone else in the world uncomfortable: race. The Hate U Give,” a movie based on the book of the same name by Angie Thomas, gives uncomfortable a new meaning. The movie will be officially released in all theaters Thurs. Oct. 19.  The Hate U Give” makes you want to rethink the way you see people get treated or even treat people yourself in everyday life and what you’ve gotten used to.

The story follows the protagonist Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a young African American teen, and the aftermath of witnessing the murder of a young black man by a policeman.

Starr lives two lives, which she calls Starr One and Starr Two. Starr One is her life in Garden Heights, her hometown, which is considered the ghetto. Garden Heights has a lot of gang activity which both Starr and her family are involved in due to her father’s past. Starr Two is the identity she takes on when she goes to Williamson Prep, a preppy, predominately white school. Here, Starr has to fit in as much as possible or she will be viewed as “the ghetto black girl.”

While she keeps a foot in both worlds with a white boyfriend named Chris (K.J. Apa) and mostly all white friends and also her African American friends at home her worlds begin to clash.

When Starr is in the car the night one of her childhood best friends, Khalil (Algee Smith), is shot dead in Garden Heights, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The pressure of speaking out for her friend who no longer has a voice, or keeping silent to protect herself from the attention and backlash of the shooting.

The parents of Starr, Maverick (Russell Hornsby) and Lisa (Regina Hall) depict very supporting roles as parents. The movie even opens up with them sitting down around the kitchen table having “The Talk:” what to do as a black citizen in America when you are pulled over by a policeman. This scene was very realistic and relatable to a conversation I’ve experienced with my own family. It felt as if I was hearing a conversation I’d already had. Although Smith was only a living character in the movie for not even 30 minutes I felt a deep connection to him just as I had when reading the Novel.

Director George Tillman Jr. makes the best-selling novel “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas come to life.  He makes the viewers of this movie realize what is going on around them in both their own towns and around the world. Unlike other young adult movies, this movie leaves you with food for thought, and a realistic ending, not just a sappy love story where everything ends happily ever after.

The novel recently became part of the mandatory reading books at Solon High School (SHS). Reading the book before seeing the movie gave me a good feeling of what the movie would be like and what I wanted it to be like. Although reading this book can bring a lot of controversy into the classroom it can bring a lot of participation and interest in the classroom as well.

Although I was slightly disappointed in the removal of some characters and scenes that I felt brought a little more personality to the movie, like Devante, the scene of Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter) being racist to both Starr and Maya (Megan Lawless) and Mr. Lewis (Tony Vaughn) snitching on King (Anthony Mackie) on live TV. Those scenes I felt were very significant and shouldn’t have been removed but something’s gotta go right?

The movie soundtrack plays a big part in creating the ambiance of the movie. It includes many 2018 R&B songs from Logic, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott and more but also features Tupac Shakur songs. These modern songs make the movie more current and relatable even though it’s just the soundtrack. The movie is named after the tattoo that Tupac Shakur had, so the insertion of some of his most inspiring songs pays homage to both him and his words.

The ending is realistic. It leaves you feeling somber, but also wanting to make a difference in the racial differences you see every day but never pay attention to. This movie isn’t one you watch and never think about again. It was created for you to want to make a difference locally and worldwide and take a stand for what you believe in.  That change being in police brutality, racism, and equality.

Stenberg gives such a riveting, believable portrayal of someone who is in distress and in pain over such a big concept at such a young age, and speaking as an African American myself I know African Americans all over the world that have felt this exact same feeling. The feeling wasn’t acting or the portrayal of a character. Because of this, it made me feel an even deeper connection and feeling from her acting.

The story “The Hate U Give” is not a true story in itself but many people have lost their lives, family members and significant others by being shot by someone who is supposed to protect not kill them.

The movie lived up to the success of the novel and connected to its audience more than I could even imagine because of its notoriously great actors and realistic story.

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“The Hate U Give” blows my expectations