Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hidden Figures Review

Written by: Sean Hannon 

Hidden Figures tells the true story of three female African-American scientists working with NASA to get a man into space and back safely which is enjoyable to watch as you can feel tension between characters. This story is parallel to the story of the  scientists overcoming sexism and racism in their environments. Luckily the film barely focuses on the previous sub theme making the movie feel less preachy than expected. The three scientists all face similar adversity trying to climb the ladder at NASA and it is both interesting and tense for the viewer to watch it resolve.

The film opens with the three African-American women on the side of the road next to their broken down car. Katherine Goebel, arguably the smartest women of the group is staring into space in the car which shows her awkwardness, making her a target of empathy later in the film. Dorothy Vaughan is under the car working on the engine which shows her resourcefulness and learning attitude which becomes an object of contention later in the film. Finally, Mary Jackson is applying makeup and making sarcastic remarks which shows her rebellious and flirtatious attitude, also important later in the film. After some banter between the characters a policeman shows up. Being that the film is set in 1961 when segregation was in full swing the women prepare for the worst, but after showing the policeman their NASA ID’s he gives them a ride. This is one of the first in the motif of a black woman doing something impressive that surprises others. From there the three scientists live their life - trying to climb the NASA ladder, going to court, and finding love, all while simultaneously working on Freedom 7.

This movie has a surprising amount of plots and subplots and they're all handled pretty well, with one not completely taking over the other. As previously mentioned, the message does not feel preachy which is great to anyone interested in the main plot instead of the various subplots. No characters seem odd or out of place and nothing is unbelievable. The music chosen is all appropriate to the time period and catchy. Overall in this film there are no overarching problems that would ruin anyone's experience.
One negative is due to how many plots and subplots the film took on. In the end they tried to recognize the women effect on the project. They are successful with two of the women, but one of them is not included. They make a lackluster connect to connect them but it comes off bad to the viewer. There is also little to no change in most characters attitudes towards the end (It seems that the other scientists would have a more obvious change of heart towards women and African Americans in this movie) which I personally don't find that a problem, but some may.

From the plot to the characters this movie is very well done. I could not recommend it more. Being that this is still a drama you may like this movie due to the science and work put in by the scientists.

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