12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to re...more
12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist forever alters his life. less
“12 Years A Slave is an uncompromising and emotionally powerful depiction of American slavery with elegant directing and superlative performances. The violence is graphic but this is essential viewing.”
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It is important for a society to reflect and learn from its past. It is brave for them to revisit something that was shameful and barbaric, yet do it without covering up the scars. 12 Years a slave does just that- delve into the abominable past of America and unflinchingly depicting it in all its shame. This is a story that needed to be told, making for compelling cinema.
Based on a little known autobigraphy of a man , Northup, who was free, had a family and worked as an artist in America of the 1800's, and was kidnapped as was the norm then and forced into slavery for 12 long years. His story archs from one of despair disbelief and utter hopelessness to one of rising against all odds and surviving with the sole aim of securing the freedom that was once his right. working under two slavemasters in this period, one (played by Cummerbatch) benovelent by accepted master standards, and the other a brutal monster (played by Faasbender with amazing conviction),Northup's story is at once heartbreaking and graphically disturbing.
Ejiofor as Northup shines through his role. His understanding of Northup's trials and rendition of a spark of defiance and will to surivive despite the odds is a remarkable feat. Fassbender is the other astounding act in the film, to be as brutal and monstrous is tough, one despises the very sight of him as the film draws to an end and all credit goes to the brilliant performance he comes up with. Every other person in the cast as well is handpicked to perfection, delivering every right note every single time.
There is a lot of nudity and a lot of violence on screen- it is not for those who cannot digest brutality- yet one does not get put off, for the story that the film tells is meant to be seen and reflected upon. It wrentches your heart, looking at how low mankind can go in its quest for power. Watch it on the big screen, it is an experience one should not be missing out on.