Fences – **

Posted: August 22, 2017 in 2016, Drama, USA, XX



The poster is deceiving. It’s eye-catching with its stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis holding each other tight and smiling. But they have NOTHING to smile about!

The trailer gives a better look at what kind of movie you’ll start watching: an overlong, theatrical drama, probably excellent on stage, but not quite as entertaining as a movie. It’s filled with powerful dialogues and boring monologues and a LOT of drama. Denzel Washington’s character is not a nice guy. It’s very difficult to empathize with him. And somehow it’s also difficult to empathize with Viola Davis’s character as well.

As a devout wife to the embittered, cheating, garbage collecting, ex professional baseball hopeful with an alcohol problem and little sympathy for the dreams of his sons, Viola Davis delivers a great performance. But she is a supporting actress and that’s sad. She only has one scene where her character gets something important to say for the viewer to actually start liking her. But that’s pretty late in the movie. (see both the stage and movie scene below) Washington on the other hand is in almost every single scene. Sure, he’s the director of the movie, but it does feel a bit like an ego-trip. He’s acting like he’s on stage. Shouting so everyone can hear it in the back of the theatre. But on the screen that just doesn’t work. The story takes place in a backyard. And none of the neighbors are complaining about this prick being so loud all the time. Even though the photography is okay and some shots are quite cinematic, little is done to evolve the setting into the story.

Oh well. Watch it and be prepared to not like the main character.



On stage:

In the movie:

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