Screen adaptations of well-known books are a tricky art. Big has a girlfriend (KiKi Layne) who gives him a lot of grief, and he’s too busy reading every situation, especially where white people are involved, to do anything but play-act. Big is short for “Bigger” — and yes, despite the inner-city punk trappings, he’s still very much a version of Bigger Thomas, the wary antihero of Richard Wright’s legendary 1940 novel. Native Son Movie Review & Film Summary (2019) 2019, Native Son Movie Review & Film Summary (2019) online Full Details Below….
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He works a low-paying job as a bike messenger and the biggest events on his calendar seem to be dinners with his family, running into friends throughout Chicago or meeting up with his cute girlfriend, a hairstylist named Bessie (KiKi Layne). While Johnson and Parks explore the troubled psyche of a black man afraid for his life, how it gets to that point remains complicated.
But that quality of his carries much less power in an era where African-American heroes who won’t back down have lost any hint of the exotic. He spends a good deal of the film using the bare bones of Wright’s novel as a kind of springboard. Cinematographer Matthew Libatique casts “Native Son” under a gloomy shadow in every frame. Most of his time on the job, at least what’s shown onscreen, involves watching over Mr. Dalton’s spoiled college-aged daughter, Mary (Margaret Qualley), who sneaks off with her politically-minded boyfriend and cajoles Bigger to let her stay out late into the night. Big, who keeps a gun in his room along with a copy of “Invisible Man,” is a bike messenger from the South Side who’s trying to figure out where he fits in, what his future is, or if he even has one. A local hood wants him to help knock off a convenience store, and he’s smart enough to turn that one down. That scene and one that follows involving an old furnace in the mansion basement feel exploitive and cruel.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Native Son (2019) Plot Summary (1) A young African-American living in Chicago enters into a seductive new world of money and power after he is hired as a chauffeur for an affluent businessman. Sundance Film Review: ‘Native Son’ Ashton Sanders gives a poetic performance as the hero of Richard Wright's novel in an updated version that works — until the novel kicks in.
In 1940s Chicago, a young black man takes a job as a chauffeur to a wealthy white family, which takes a turn for the worse when he accidentally kills the wild and crazy teenage daughter of the couple and then tries to cover it up because he knows that he will not receive justice.
His new employer, a real estate tycoon named Mr. Dalton (Bill Camp), wants to help him out while displacing families like his. Check out this new movie trend. But his nervous, laser-like focus is wildly sympathetic.
Native Son Movie Review & Film Summary (2019).
As if the overcast cinematography wasn’t ominous enough, the movie’s fatalist tone is driven home by a foreboding score by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. There’s something about how the camera lingers over the crime scene that didn’t sit well with me or with other members of the Sundance audience when I first watched the movie. Bigger Thomas, an African American who lives in an impoverished neighborhood, is employed by a prosperous white family who live in the suburbs of a major city. Director Rashid Johnson and screenwriter Suzan-Lori Parks have added to and excised out enough of Richard Wright’s controversial 1940 novel to make their version of “Native Son” distinctly theirs. Stray too far from the source material, and purists will be upset. I won’t give it away, but it’s no longer a plausible response to fear — it’s just a movie contrivance — and, unfortunately, the entire rest of “Native Son” grows out of it. Instead, Mary decides to pick up her Socialist boyfriend, Jan, and to spend the time drinking and partying.
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Native Son Movie Review & Film Summary (2019). There are also the vivid blue walls of Bigger’s bedroom at home and graffiti-lined spaces that inject a sense of life into the painful story.
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