15 April 2013 | Danielramos16
Not just a baseball movie, but a great human story.
Everyone will remember the name Jackie Robinson. He became more then a baseball player, he became a legend, and a hero. Almost 70 years later his influence is still felt today. You ask anyone who follows baseball they know the name, the number, what it meant to the sport, and this country.
Luckily the film doesn't try to do too much by telling the life story of Jackie Robinson, instead it focuses on Robinson's days in the Negro League in 1945 to his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Even with America coming off its victory against Fascism in World War II, racism was still prominent. This was especially true with the racist attitudes against African-Americans. At a time when the society in America was still segregated based on race, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American Major League Baseball player. He broke through the color barrier that had kept blacks out of the Major League. Despite his amazing skills as a ballplayer, Robinson faces huge adversity dealing with the racist prejudice from the public, the fans, and fellow ballplayers. His greatness on the field had such a huge impact on the game and America's attitude towards African-Americans. Of course talent can only take a player so far, it was Robinson's character & pride that really made him standout. He became an icon in the civil rights movement in America, and ended racial segregation in America's greatest past time. This is why we remember his name, and his number.
Chadwick Boseman has such an uncanny resemblance to Jackie Robinson. He played Robinson beautifully as a man of great talent and character. You can see him boiling inside at moments dealing with the stress and anger Robinson must have felt with the world coming down on him. I love that this film isn't just about Robinson's courage, but that of those who supported him. Jackie's wife Rachel is played wonderfully by Nicole Beharie. She is beautiful, strong, and good natured. She had to be as strong as Jackie was to endure the rough journey ahead. While most love stories come across as corny especially in a sports movie, this works thanks to the chemistry and wonderful acting of Boseman and Beharie. Harrison Ford is unforgettable in his supporting role as Branch Rickey, the legendary General Manger who took great risks in signing Jackie Robinson. This was one of Ford's best performances, bringing charisma, charm, and heart to his role. Branch Rickey was a gutsy and innovative figure in baseball, and Ford did him justice. The acting overall is wonderful, and I give credit to a great supporting cast.
The film is a true inspirational story of how a baseball player helped change a sport, and how sport can change a country. Despite it's cliché moments, this film has a charm to it that makes it so beloved. Its my hope that 42 film will educate and inspire this generation and the next and that 42 won't become lost amongst the Sports film or bio-pic movie genre. Does 42 adequately match the legacy of the man tries it depicts? Is Jackie Robinson's life simply too great for a two hour motion picture? whatever legacy it will create, 42 is still a proud tribute to one of baseballs greatest figures.