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Friday, January 21 2022

Editor's Choice

The help: An insight into racial struggles

‘The Help,’ based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel under same name, is a beautiful, emotional film about a small group of black maids in rural Mississippi in the 1960s who decide that their voices, too, should be heard in the bitter aftermath of African-American civil rights movements. This film directed by Tate Taylor will catch one’s attention immediately and will not let go till the very end with the plot being sad or funny at times.

The central theme of ‘The Help’ is discrimination, violence, humanity and civil rights. The film offers an intriguing look into a variety of racial issues, occasionally even exposing some of the contradictions that occurred in the situation of a black nanny caring for a white child.

The plot revolves around Eugene Skeeter Phelah (Emma Stone), a young white aspiring writer at the Jackson Journal. Skeeter befriends two black servants from her friends’ houses, Aibileen (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), and begins to interview them in secret about their regular work for her new book. Unlike her friends, Skeeter feels and thinks quite different about many things in life.

Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) has raised generations of white children but her heart has been torn since the death of her own son. Clark is the only maid who reluctantly shares her stories, and she is soon followed by Minny, until a dozen or more women come out with reports of cruelty, discrimination, and, in some cases, love, at the hands of their white masters. Thus, an unlikely sisterhood is formed among them.

‘The Help’ places a greater emphasis on racial segregation and, as a result, mistakenly portrays certain inaccurate stereotypes. All of the main characters give outstanding performances, with each actress giving their roles a different character that distinguishes them and makes them feel alive. Thus, The Help is a timeless, global, and inspiring tale about the power of bringing change and fighting for oneself.

The Help won Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role by Octavia Spencer and three other nominations including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role by Viola Davis and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role by Jessica Chastain.

‘The Help’ is a must-see film with a fantastic narrative that cleverly and successfully communicates voices that should have been heard in the political movement at the time.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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