In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty at the hands of a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.
In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life.
I have heard so much about 12 Years a Slave that I couldn't wait to see it. Everyone's opinion was different from "it's the best movie ever" to "it was really disappointing" so I couldn't wait to make up my own mind on it. I love movies based on true stories.
Right from the start I was lost in the movie my heart broke when Solomon was forced into slavery not knowing if and when he would ever escape. Maybe I'm a bit sensitive but within the first half an hour or so I had already shed a few tears watching the story unfold. In fact there were a number of times throughout the movie I had to wipe my eyes. I just found the whole story just so touching, the actors all shone in their roles and you could feel their pain.
It was so clear why the movie was nominated for so many different awards and why it took out best picture at the Oscars. I think the reason it was so powerful and touching was the fact it was based on a true story, To think that people were forced to live that way for years. While there were some quiet drawn out moments the powerful heart in your mouth moments sure outweigh them.
During the awards season this is the movie everyone was talking about. Lupita Nyong'o was the talk of Hollywood not only for her Powerful portrayal of Patsey a follow slave but also for her fashion sense. Then there was Chiwetel Ejiofor who played Solomon, a free man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The movie was nominated for numerous awards, American and British and won 155 awards all up. This was a movie I was dying to see.
It blows my mind that America could allow slavery to occur. I don't understand how someone believes that they own someone because of the colour of their skin. To beat and abuse as they see fit and treat them like some farm animal. In one state an African American could walk around freely and go wherever they like and walk a couple of miles down the road and cross a state line and that same freeman could easily be considered a slave. To do with as you see fit, to make you work the cotton fields or build something just because they are not white.
Solomon was a free man with his wife and children and after a job interview went wrong was chained and sold to the highest bidder and made to work like a dog. If he did not obey he was whipped and so for 12 years his life belonged to someone else.
Personally I did not think the movie lived up to all of the hype. Yes it is sad what happened but I don't think the movie opened up a big enough channel with the audience. Somewhere in the back of your mind you're thinking "my god this really happened to this poor guy" but I didn't feel connected to him at all and I didn't feel any really emotions towards him. I was rather disappointed with Lupitas acting or lack of, she really did not do a lot and basically stood there looking sad most of the time. She did not say a lot, cried some, but I didn't feel it was Oscar-worthy. It was a watchable movie but I wasn't left with any real feelings besides the hate of American slavery. I am so confused how another person could beat someone till the flesh was hanging off their back.
I did like the scenes where a white person was working the same job as the 'slaves' and the 'master' came over concerned he was working on the hot day, offering him water and asking if he needed a rest. Or at the tally the white man picked way less cotton than anyone and was not whipped because of it but instead reassured that he will do better in the future. Where as Solomon who picked more than the white dude got lashed for it. Or when Brad Pitt pulls up the point 'hang on these follow workers are also working in this heat and also need a rest' the master laughed and said 'they are not workers, they are my property and they are slaves' those scenes were powerful. But I did not feel there was enough 'powerful moments'.
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