Fences ⭐⭐⭐⭐

What betrays the film’s theatrical roots is not only the up-close camerawork or the confinement of nearly the whole film in and around a backyard where many a lengthy discussions took place but in August Wilson’s verbally dexterous and awe-inspiring Arthur Miller-esque script where emotions are expressed and events are discussed and retold, instead of shown. Set in the late 50s/early 60s and shot as a period piece, this might seem like a familiar family melodrama but the film let Wilson’s words take centre stage, as a result, it feels more like a stage play reproduced on film than a film adaptation. Nonetheless, this is a tour de force for Denzel Washington (sorry Casey, but he is that good) and Viola Davis (miscategorized as Supporting when she is obviously a Lead but a great performance is a great performance) who play Troy and Rose Maxson with such gusto and dedication that you can do nothing but be blown away by their immersive and incredible Oscar-worthy performances. The lack of any real attempts to open up the stage production focuses our attention on their faces and their minute and subtle expressions, something you might not be able to see on the stage, and at least, this audience finds himself totally engaged and moved by it. If there’s a movie where purely by the sheer force of its Acting the film becomes an object of admiration and acclaim, then Fences is definitely it.


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