The Hate U Give surrounds Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), a young black girl struggling to fit in with her mostly white private school and black neighborhood. She later witnesses her friend getting shot by a police officer and as the only witness debates whether to speak up for him or to stat silent to protect herself and her family.
Wow. This movie is powerful. And took me by total surprise. The performances, especially by Stenberg were pretty great. And while there has been more and more movies centered around police brutality and racial injustice that are coming out, this is one that stands out from the rest.
This film addresses what many teenagers struggle to do, fit in. But Starr essentially lives two different life’s and she doesn’t feel like she fully belongs in either one of them. Starr has to act “white” while in school so the other kids don’t view her as ghetto, and her neighborhood thinks she isn’t “black enough” because she goes to a preppy, white school. The family dynamic worked really well in the film, especially the dad played by Russel Hornsby, who encourages Starr to do what’s right even though it may put the family in danger.
My biggest negative of the film was that there was way too much narration. I also felt that Anthony Mackie was miscast as the antagonist or “King lord” of the film. Also I wasn’t a big fan of the boyfriend story line with Starr, he wasn’t an important character and I felt it could’ve been cut out.
I would strongly suggest checking this film out. It’s not an easy movie to shack and one that will stick around in your head a few days after you’ve seen it. It also has one of the most powerful endings I’ve seen since BlackKklansman.
I give The Hate U Give an A-