Search This Blog

April 10, 2019

The Best of Enemies (2019) --- "Some Friendships Come In Unexpected Packages."

Subscribe,  share, and Show your support by clicking the link below and purchasing relatable content for yourself or a friend.

Hello, Movie Buffs!
In 1971 in Durham, North Carolina, Claiborne Paul “C.P” Ellis (Sam Rockwell) is the president of the local KKK, while Ann Atwater (Taraji P. Henson) is a black civil rights activist trying to get decent housing for black people. After the colored elementary school burns down and the parents’ petition to integrate the local white school is shot down, black activist Bill Riddick (Babou Ceesay) comes to town to organize a charrette. The charrette allows people of different viewpoints to discuss openly and in groups, and with C.P Ellis and Ann Atwater acting as co-chairs, discussions are bound to get interesting. The ensuing debate and imposing deadline lead to some surprising revelations that change the lives of Ann Atwater and C.P Ellis, as well as the lives of the people in Durham, forever. Directed and adapted by Robin Bissell (), The Best of Enemies (2019) is the true story about an unlikely friendship between two enemies
   It is surprising to learn that this film has received mediocre reviews because it wasn’t radical enough but that would have made the film mediocre and cliche. Instead, The Best of Enemies is thoughtful, substantive, mature, and has a fleshed out narrative with both main characters being their own person with adequate screen time. They, in turn, save each other, she saves him from a racist mindset and he saves her & her community by learning acceptance. The film’s message and storytelling are captivating and humorous, and the speech near the end of the film is moving and surprising since the character who delivers it has not spoken with such eloquence before. Aside from the speech, there is no crashing music epiphany scene. The film is grounded in gritty day-to-day interactions, primarily focusing on the interactions between Ellis and Atwater, as well as their own individual struggles with poverty and family.
   The only issue that I have with the film is that it doesn’t touch on Ellis’ class struggle or why he joined the KKK, which I think ultimately explains why it was so easy for him to have a change of heart. Will the cinematic Ellis concludes that blacks are inferior, the real-life Ellis states in his own memoir that he was actually ashamed of growing up and being poor. He worked hard to get ahead and never did which made him bitter, resentful, and looking for someone to blame. He was encouraged to join the KKK and place the blame on black people, rather than the rich white people. In meetings, he rubbed elbows with the wealthier whites but outside of the rich would cross the street to avoid him. As a result, Ellis concludes that integration would ultimately be beneficial to both whites and blacks, both the poor and the rich. None of this is touched on or fully explained, which I believe to be because Hollywood has a hard time talking about poor whites.
   The entire cast is excellent with powerful performances from Taraji P. Henson (What Men Want) and Sam Rockwell (Vice). Together they bring out emotions and humanity that makes you believe that they are actually their characters. Henson steals every scene she is in with an assertive yet likable approach that is reminiscent of her real-life counterpart. Rockwell delivers a strong performance that showcases a desperate yet intelligent and even likable man who simply needed someone to pull him out of the darkness of his past. The rest of the cast performances are great with some tremendous actors filling in the supporting roles: Wes Bentley, Anne Heche, Nick Searcy, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr, and Caitlin Mehner.
   Overall, The Best of Enemies (2019) is an entertaining and beautiful film with a gritty story and a strong narrative. The story's message is captivating and beautiful without feeling cliche or mediocre, while the cast performances are stronger than ever. If your a fan of Green Book, then you will enjoy this film. But keep in mind. Do not listen to the low ratings, the critics are just mad because this is not the lives matter platform they were hoping for, it’s so much more than and if you fail to see that then I urge you to give this film a second look.

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

I hope you liked this post, Subscribe,  share, and Show your support by clicking the link below and purchasing relatable content for yourself or a friend.

Movies Similar
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (2017)
The Founder (2017)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Little Boy (2015)
Wild (2014)
August: Osage County (2013)
Green Book (2018)

No comments:

Post a Comment