Three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that defi...more
Three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. less
“Even with a few loopholes in the storyline, The Help easily enthralls the audience with funny dialogues and some splendid performances by its brilliant star cast. Go for it!”
The Help could easily qualify as a feel-good, guilty pleasure with its plot that glosses over some difficult truths of the period it depicts using characters that can be called kind of one-dimensional and yet manages to bring a smile on your face but not before it has managed to wrangle a tear or two. There would be few who wouldnt be affected by the emotional pull of the movie and considering how well the talented cast manages to get us invested in the lives of these characters Id say the movie succeeds brilliantly more often than it fails.
The story is set in a volatile region and period of American history; down south in a small town during the 60s when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum fast. Skeeter (Emma Stone) returns to her town of Jackson, only to find out her old house maid, Constantine (Cicely Tyson) has left without even informing her; something Skeeter finds very fishy despite the assurances of her mother that she wasnt let go. Wanting to impress a New York based editor, Elain Stein (Mary Steenburg), Skeeter hits upon the idea of writing a book that chronicles stories of the numerous African-American maids employed throughout Jackson. After much pursuing she manages to convince the experienced Aibileen (Viola Davis) to share her life-story. The blatantly racist face of the town is none other than Skeeters childhood buddy, Hilly (Bryce Dallas Howard) who all for segregation and actively pushes other housewives into implementing it with their families. How Skeeter, Aibileen and the other maids go about completing the book forms the crux of the tale. Other characters and their sub-plots flit in and out of the narrative forming a rich plot.
After a long time I have come across a drama that refuses to assign one central character. While the focus changes constantly between various players you are left wondering whom the story is about actually and by the end when all their tales reach their logical conclusion, you understand the weight of each characters arc. The only sub-plot that fails to leave any significant impact is that of Skeeters relationship with Stuart, which is set up kind of haphazardly and resolved very abruptly.
Though the movie chooses to put historical events in the background like the killing of Medgar Evers (depicted in the 1996 film The Ghosts of Mississippi)