Fences is an extraordinary movie!
The movie is set in 1950’s Pittsburgh and tells the moving story of Troy Maxon’s life and his relationships with his family and friends.
The story is as moving and heart wrenching, as it is hilariously funny in parts.
Troy (played by Denzel Washington),his wife Rose(played by Viola Davis) and their teenage son Cory (played by Jovan Adepo) live in a lower middle class house in Pittsburgh. He works as a garbage collector with his best friend, Jim Bono (played by Stephen Henderson). He also has an older son who visits him now and then, especially when he wants to borrow money. Troy’s older brother Gabe also plays a prominent role in his life. Gabriel sustained a head injury during WW II, which left him mentally handicapped. He is a tormented, funny, childlike individual that stirs emotions of comedy and sadness.
Troy had proven himself to be a talented baseball player but was overlooked for Major League Baseball. He is bitter and resentful as he believes that he didn’t make it because he was a Negro, but everyone else believes that he just started his career when he was already too old for the major league. He still bats at a baseball tied to a tree in his yard.
Cory is being scouted by a college football team, but Troy is certain that Cory has no chance of being chosen for the NFL as he still believes that racial discrimination is rife in sport. He is torn between not wanting his son to get hurt and tinges of jealousy as there is a chance that his son may achieve what he could not. This leads to major friction and tension between the two of them, with Rose in the middle.
As the story unfolds, the audience gets a glimpse into the trials and tribulations of Negro life in the fifties.
The movie is intense and consuming and takes you through the complex relationships Troy has with his wife, his two sons, his best friend and his mentally handicapped brother. Some old scars in Troy’s past are also revealed, and the movie takes a sad and unexpected turn towards the end.
I am a huge fan of Denzel Washington and I firmly believe that every performance he gives is better than the last, but his performance as Troy is absolutely brilliant, and will go down as his best ever! Viola Davis also gives a Golden Globe winning performance and the small supporting cast are equally brilliant.
The movie truly transported me back to Fifties America. The accents, sets, cars, Negro way of life and racial issues of the time were superbly portrayed.
This movie will appeal to an intelligent audience, who enjoy thought provoking movies, with depth and a fascinating journey into the human psyche.
The movie was directed by Denzel Washington, written by August Wilson and released by Paramount Pictures.
The film is being released at cinemas countrywide on Friday, 17 February and is classified 10-12 PG.