Hey there Music Movie family! So, I’ve already hinted at how much I loved the movie 42, which opened Friday in theaters nationwide. I was excited to screen it again last week for the second time with the giveaway winners, and I enjoyed it as much the second if not more than the first time. 42 chronicles the legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson’s journey of being the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, and the adversities and triumphs he faced while doing so.
Now the movie is not a complete depiction of the challenges faced by Mr. Robinson, nor could it possibly capture some of the more abhorrent behaviors of some and keep a family friendly PG-13 rating. But by far, it is one of the most honest and fair-minded depictions of the impact Mr. Robinson’s entry to the majors had on our society as a whole.
Okay, so it is going to be very hard to tell you what I absolutely loved about this film, without giving spoilers, but I will try my best! Let’s start with the powerful performance of newcomer and lead, Chadwick Boseman (The Kill Hole, Lincoln Heights). His portrayal of Robinson was quiet thunder; and he made my older friend Ms. Bowmer (who is Madea tough 😉 ) cry during one emotional scene when Jackie reacts to a racist response from a player on an opposing team (okay I did that without telling you what happened, yay me!). And as I sit here at 12 am watching The Fugitive for the 2,575th time while typing this, I’d be remiss not to mention the great portrayal of Branch Rickey by veteran actor Harrison Ford (The Fugitive, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).
But can I say I adore Nicole Beharie? Beharie (American Violet, The Last Fall) was cast as Jackie’s wife Rachel, and her and Chadwick’s chemistry was fierce! I love how the film depicted their relationship; and it also highlighted how important her support and character were to her husband’s journey. And Nicole always brings a subtle radiance and strength to the characters she portrays, so what a perfect choice she was. As a matter of fact, the Robinsons’ relationship is an area I would not have minded the 128 minute running time being expanded to include more of or elaborate.
Lastly, I loved how the movie displayed several characters struggles and their eventual growth to accept and respect Mr. Robinson. There is a great scene between Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, portrayed by Lucas Black (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Promised Land), where Pee Wee discusses his prejudices and how Jackie challenged his views. I won’t spoil it by describing the scene in full, but when you see it you’ll know what I mean. 😉
In short, 42 is a testament to the character, talent and strength of an extraordinary man. Jackie Robinson’s legacy continues on, as this Monday, April 15 will again commemorate Jackie Robinson Day, where all Major League Baseball players honor the day Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers by donning the number 42 on their uniforms. The number 42 is the only number retired in Major League Baseball.
You can get additional information about the film and learn more about Jackie Robinson at www.42movie.warnerbros.com. If you are a ministry leader or belong to a community organization, there is also a great website with resources available related to the film at www.42FAITH.com.
And if I may, I’d like to leave you with this quote: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives” – Jackie Robinson.
Until next thought family, Thomasena