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Denzel Washington amazes in Fences

SANTIAGO GONZALEZ, Staff Writer

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Released on Christmas Day, the movie Fences follows the story of Troy Maxson, a talented and hardworking garbage collector in 1950s Pittsburgh, who lives with his wife Rose and their son Cory. As with any movie starring renowned actor Denzel Washington, Fences was a highly anticipated film.
The movie follows Troy as he deals with the troubling events of his life. As a young man, he experiences tragedy and hardship which pushes him to a life of crime. When he finally lands himself in prison, Troy soon reveals a noticeable gift for baseball.
Eventually, Troy is released from prison and has the opportunity to play baseball professionally. While he’s able to excel in the professional Negro Leagues, Troy falls short of a chance at Major League Baseball, mostly because of his old age and race. As a result, Troy becomes a stern and hardworking man who no longer believed in the power of talent, but instead in hard work and one’s own will.
The movie’s conflict arises when Rose reveals to Troy that their son Cory is being recruited by college scouts for a potential football career. Troy greatly disapproves of this opportunity, as Cory is no longer working and is beginning to slack due to his intense football practices. Troy is also dismissive of the opportunity because of the blatant racial discrimination Troy believes is prevalent in professional sports.
Moreover, Troy’s displeasure with his son also hints of jealousy since Cory’s opportunities act as reminders of Troy’s failures and hardships in the past. The pain of missed opportunity haunts Troy. This inevitably leaves him to build a figurative fence between himself and his son. Eventually, even Rose constructs this mental barrier between herself and Troy after he reveals that he has had a mistress, all while she remained loyal for 18 years.
Renowned actor Denzel Washington portrays Troy in the film. Washington’s adept acting abilities aid in the film’s effectiveness as he gives a tremendous and emotionally packed performance.
Additionally, Rose is played by Viola Davis who perfectly exuberates sadness, exhaustion, and true love. She steals the show with a captivating performance that is both astonishing and emotionally strong. “Well, I’ve been standing with you. I’ve given 18 years of my life to stand at the same spot as you,” Davis said in the film as tears run down her face. Davis perfectly portrays her character, a woman who is burdened and pained by the betrayal of her husband.
Cory is played by Jovan Adepo who also gives a strong and noteworthy performance. While the movie is full of powerful performances, the film is stolen by Washington and Davis who together create a mesmerizing mix of hate, love and immense tragedy.
Washington, who was also the director of the film, created a timeless movie which encompasses many major issues regarding race, class, ambition, and defeat. Washington does this in a captivating and beautiful way by using stunning settings. The setting is very simple and remains true to the 1950s time period. This works well for the movie considering that Troy is a man who simply gets things done and is living day to day. This is mirrored in his home. The visual effects of the film exemplify the hindrances of Troy’s life and society as a whole in the 1950s.
The movie was met with rave reviews, garnering a 95% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 78 on Metacritic. The movie has since gone on to win 34 different awards, with most of those awards going to Davis for her outstanding performance as a supporting character. The film went on to win numerous other awards and has been named “Movie of the Year” in the AFI awards.
The movie was received well by both critics and audiences alike, getting a 7.7 out of 10 on IMDB and an 80% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes from audiences. Many audience members praise the movie, including critic Dana Digro who said, “Troy’s larger than life personality will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. The film is truly heart-warming and very appropriate for the entire family. Full of morals, lessons, and life’s hidden nuggets of gold, #FencesMovie will tug at your heart and make you appreciate your own family: the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
While the movie was overall a huge hit with critics and audience members alike, there was one major issue with the idea of the movie itself. The movie had been a theater production in the past with the same cast members as the movie. The movie cannot help but pale in comparison due to its seemingly bumpy transition from stage to big screen. The movie itself is a splendid delight but is no longer as original or smoothly written and directed as it was in the theater.
In the end, the movie is a unique feature in comparison to the conventional big budget action thrillers that have taken over the box office. The movie shines as bright as can be wherever it is played. With the help of some passionate actors giving tremendous and emotional performances, the movie reaches a new level of captivation.
The movie brings about love, hate, and tragedies all in one screenplay. Fences is an accomplishment not only for the actors and contributors of the movie but for the nation as a whole.

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Denzel Washington amazes in Fences