This film is a great example of how exceptional writing can rivet an audience.
It's based on a play, I understand. For anyone as unfamiliar as myself, the easiest way to describe it is as being very reminiscent of Death Of A Salesman. It follows in that long line of stories about Patriarchs crushed under the weight of their own psychological implosion, King Lear, the Old Testament's Nebuchadnezzar and so on.
The quality of the writing is such that, by focussing on the psychology of one man and his own life, and its impact on his family, it makes you think about your own life and certainly your relationship with your father. It's called Fences, I interpreted this as the psychological fences people erect to protect themselves, fences which tragically keep those closest to you out.
There was a little unevenness, the beginning seemed on the long side, but when the story steps up a gear, it seemed a little underdeveloped. But this is really a small issue. The writing pulls you in masterfully and exceptional actors work their magic with it. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis deliver master classes in power and nuance.
I'm surprised that the IMDb description has it as being concerned with race relations. As far as I could see it had little to do with it and was instead concerned with the emotional faultlines of a family in a totally universally relateable way.
Really worth it, go see it.
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