Movie Review – The Help
“The Help” based on a best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, a story of three women who take extraordinary risk in writing a novel based on the stories from the view of black maids and nannies. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, a young girl sets out to change the town. Skeeter, who is 21 years old, white, educated from Ole Miss, dreams of becoming a journalist. She returns home to find the family maid, Constantine, gone and no one will explain to her what happened.
Skeeter acquires a job as a columnist for the local paper at the being of the movie. Skeeter mother’s only concern is for Skeeter to find a husband. Skeeter’s ambition to become a writer starts with her idea to write a novel about from the view of the black maids and nannies in Jackson. Aibileen, who lost her son after he was ran over and dumped at a hospital, works as a maid for a family.
She watches after the seventeenth child of a white family. Minny, Aibileen’s friend and a maid, raises children of her own and keep secrets of the white women she works for.
The unlikely trio begins to write the stories of the life of the maid from their viewpoint. It is socially unacceptable and against the law in Mississippi to discuss integration. Skeeter needs to recruit more maids to tell their stories. However no maids are willing to help until a series of events happen that change their minds. The book published called “The Help” with all of the stories having hidden identities. The white women of the town begin to question who the true characters are and where the book is actually taking place. Some of the women swear up and down it is not Jackson to protect themselves from humiliation. The movie along with the book the three wrote during the movie depicts how life was really like in Jackson for black families. There are several areas within the movie that describe what live is Jackson was like. There is a scene in the movie where Aibileen was in the bathroom, built specifically for her because a white lady in the movies says that black people have different diseases than white people.
In several scenes in the movie, the maids travel on buses that are for black people only or are at the back of a bus with the white people at the front. Skeeter goes to the library in Jackson and gets a book with information about segregation and the laws. Blacks could not attend the same schools and churches as the white people. The transferring of books between whites and blacks was not acceptable. They remained with whoever began using them first. They were to remain with the population that started using them. They also use separate entrances to public buildings. Aibileen tells the story of how her son died and explained that they the white bosses loaded him up in the back of a pickup after being ran over. They dropped him off in front of the colored hospital, honked the horn, and drove away.
He later died at home with a collapsed lung because there was nothing the doctors could do to save him. The list above shows some of the issues that are within the movie about segregation and discrimination. The movie, filmed well, shows the different views of life and shows different things and values affect different people. There are several other movies that I have watched related to this one including Ali, a movie about an amazing African American boxer during the 60s and 70s and his way to winning the heavy weight title. Remember the Titans, a film related to integration of schools during the early 70s. The movie is about a new African American football coach that faces the challenges with a racially integrated football team.
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