Thursday, May 30, 2013

Date Night Movie Review - 42

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42 is about how Jackie Robinson gets to play for the New York Dodgers, thus becoming the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in sixty years. But as they say, it's often more about the "how" than the "what", and so it proved to be in this case. The film showed the opposition faced by Robinson by baseball players, coaches and fans as he moved from playing from the minor to major leagues.

Atala's Review - I've heard a saying that the degree to which you which you understand America is the degree to which you understand and follow its three main sports. Well, I guess I don't get America well, yet; basketball is pretty straightforward, and except for the numerous stoppages, I kind of get American football. But baseball... that's still something of a mystery to me.

So I was at first hesitant to watch "42", even though it was billed as not just being about baseball. But I'm also a fan of movies that take you to a different time in history, and with some encouragement from Myne, who is much more open-minded about these things, I thought I should give it a go.

The story is pretty straightfoward; and is told in a realistic, sensitive way that made it resonate more with me.

There were many people in the film to cheer at for various reasons, but two stood out for me. One was Branch Rickey, the manager of the Dodgers, who could have just "done business as usual" and avoided the hassle of bringing on a black player. But instead, he decided to take a courageous stand in not just seeking out Robinson and signing him up, but resolutely standing by his decision even when he was questioned about it.

The other person, of course, was Robinson himself, who conducted himself like a gentleman in the face of incredible hostility. In this regard, there are some lines from a dialogue in the film where, before he signs him up, Rickey warns Robinson about the hostility he will face, and asks him not to respond. Robinson, then asks Rickey if he wants a player who doesn't have the guts to fight back. Rickey responds "No, I want a player who has the guts *not* to fight back." And as I was to see from Robinson's conduct in the film, "not fighting back" certainly takes a lot more guts than most people think.

So despite enjoying the film very much, I won't say that my initial fears were completely unfounded. There were a few baseball play scenes that went over my head, but fortunately, these days in film, there are enough of other cues to give you a sense as to whether something that has happened on the field is "good" or "bad", and that was enough for me to keep me following the film, and awarding it close to my equivalent of a home run - a 4 out of 5.


  1. I so loved this movie. I rate it a five!!!

  2. I loved this movie too, I agree with that comment you remarked. It takes guts sometimes not to fight back, more maybe than it takes to fight back. Nice review.


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