On April 15, 1947, Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson took the field as the first African American member of a major league baseball field. A lot has changed in the past 66 years in America since that day in Brooklyn when number 42 walked out of the dugout and took his place on first base. Now, a movie fitting of the legend has finally been produced.
The cinematography of the film was wonderfully done. From wardrobes to scenery and everything else, the film really made you feel like you stepped into the 1940s. Like most movies, there were good and bad scenes. A few times I felt that they were dragging out the wrong parts of the story, but overall I enjoyed the film and history lesson.
Casting for 42 was excellent with actors and actresses that really brought their characters to life. If I wasn't aware going in that Harrison Ford was playing Branch Rickey, I don't think I would have recognized him. I also thought that T.R. Knight was great as a team executive for the Dodgers. Chadwick Boseman truly stole the show as Jackie Robinson. He had big shoes to fill and I think that if Robinson was still alive, he would have appreciated the care that went into the part.
The elephant in the room, and main theme of the film, was racism in America. While some areas had already desegregated, Jackie and Rachel leave their home in California and learn that not all cities were as accepting. When Rachel sees her first "white only" bathroom, curiosity and shock appears on her face. Fans of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh might not appreciate the realistic way their teams were shown to treat the Dodgers. There were a few other games shown, but the Pennsylvania teams were portrayed as the villains.
A secondary theme of the film was spirituality. In the film, Mr. Rickey selected Jackie Robinson from a selection of African American players because they shared a religion. I'm not sure if this is historically accurate but many times throughout the film, we were reminded of this theme as Jackie and Mr. Rickey spoke about ignoring the harassment. This theme is also used to explain why Mr. Rickey choose to stand up for what was right and take the backlash of his fellow team owners.
I feel that all baseball fans will enjoy this film. I plan to take my grandmother to a matinee of 42 because she was living in Brooklyn during the 1940s and always told me and my sister stories of the Brooklyn Dodgers growing up. My personal favorite scene actually took place during an awkward discussion in the locker room between Jackie and one of his teammates. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but most of the audience was laughing with me at the scene. There are things that could have been done better, however no movie is perfect and overall I enjoyed 42.
42 will be released nation wide on April 12, 2013. Check out my weekly post, Making Cents with Cori, on Cinemit for weekly specials on tickets and concessions.
Movie Rating for 42
The passes for this pre-screening were from Grace Hill Media. Check out my information post for more information about free movie screenings.