Culture Magazine

Hidden Figures (2017) – Review

By Paskalis Damar @sinekdoks
Hidden Figures (2017) – Review

There were three African-American women working at NASA in circa 1960s and helping the institution sending man into space, winning the space competitions against the Soviets. Not everyone knows about that fact (me neither, in fact), until Hidden Figures comes and opens people's eyes in the era where this substantial revelation is relevant. However, it's never been a preachy, egghead's story; instead, Theodore Melfi's adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly's non-fiction is a high-energized feel-good film about equality and empowerment.

Those three titular figures are Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Those women are all brilliant in their own field even beyond; but their only problem is more complex than their minds; because they are women and people of colors.

While the three of them are equally important in NASA's grandest pre-achievement; there's specific portion to each character's arc. Katherine, a math genius who made her way into an all-white-male research team in Langley led by Kevin Costner's Al Harrison, gets the prioritized plot. Meanwhile, Dorothy's effort in supervising and empowering her "all-black-female-human calculators" and Mary's struggle to enroll in a segregated school are working in near-background as subplots sustaining the main plot's achievement, without being overly over-shadowed.

The subject matters - both racial issues and mathematics - are dead serious and might lead to complex plot effortlessly. However, Hidden Figures takes a completely different route than being patronizing and going all calculus; Theodore Melfi opts to give more portions to the character than the issues. How the characters react to what happen to them, although, sometimes corny, makes Hidden Figures is a fun, crowd-pleasing film that delivers its message effectively with on-screen deeds than sophisticated prep-talk.

Taraji P. Henson effortlessly brings the spirit into the game when her character keeps astonishing his all-white-male comrades with her feats, which storms off skeptical faces; or when her character runs through the building only to get to the colored people toilet; or when suddenly climbs up the stairs to solve an equation. There's confidence emanated from Taraji's performance as the lead.

However, Hidden Figures is only as alive as its supporting roles. Spencer, an Oscar winner for The Help, might deliver some of the best monologues (although cheesy) in the film; however, her motherly figure really is what makes her character matters. Monáe gives uplifting moment almost all the time, juxtaposing with her superb relief in Moonlight. The strongest among the supporting roles, however, isn't the two of them; but rather Kevin Costner, especially when his Al Harrison brings a sledgehammer to flat out racial toilet sign with his iconic "we all pee the same color" line. Even with those prodigies, Hidden Figures still has a roster full of talents as in Kristen Dunst, Mahershala Ali, Jim Parsons, and even Glen Powell.

In the end, Hidden Figures, despite its heavy subject matters, chooses to take up some clichés and add superb performances here and there. The final result is an uplifting, moving, and feel-good empowerment message and revelation.

Hidden Figures (2017)

Hidden Figures (2017) – Review
Hidden Figures (2017) – Review

Biography, Drama, History Directed by: Theodore Melfi Written by: Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly Starred by: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer , Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner Runtime: 127 mins Rated PG

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Five Things I Loved About My Wedding – Kayleigh

    Five Things Loved About Wedding Kayleigh

    This is the fourth in a series of blog posts with a focus on those little things that make a wedding special. It is called Five Things I Loved About My Wedding. Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Wedincentralpark
  • Democracy and the Politics of Intolerance

    Democracy Politics Intolerance

    A democracy allows government to reflect the will of the people. Or does it? Here I would like to understand a bit better the dynamics through which radical... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Dlittle30
  • Cable Girls – 1920s Era Women with a Modern Twist

    Cable Girls 1920s Women with Modern Twist

    Las Chicas del Cable – four women in 1920s Madrid – Cloche hats, colorful flapper frocks and bobbed hair. What’s not to enjoy about the new Netflix produced... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Glamourdaze
  • BADASS Art Journal Page - All of Me....

    BADASS Journal Page Me....

    Embracing all parts of me and surrounded by miracles - Art Journal PageI found a couple of passports photos of myself recently and I was criticizing them becaus... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Realityarts
  • Dutch Apple Loaf

    Dutch Apple Loaf

    This Dutch Apple Loaf is my kind of cake, soft and moist,  and filled with juicy chunks of apple and pecan nuts.  For a lovely hint of sweetness I have... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Shadesofcinnamon
  • A Jumbo Passion Project

    The climber, facing away from the wall, gingerly peers over his toes to watch his sky-blue T-shirt flutter to the ground. He takes a deep breath, then turns in... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Thervproject
  • Top 3 Dim Sum Restaurants in Chinatown

    Restaurants Chinatown

    Chicago’s Chinatown is home to some of the best restaurants in the city. Sundays can be especially crowded in this area, usually around brunch, as dim sum, a... Read more

    The 24 May 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago