Critiquing Film, Television, and More

Academy Award Winner Green Book (2018) is Essentially Racism for Dummies

Man, don’t you just love movies that treat you like you’re the stupidest f***ing person on the planet? Hahahaha, Oscar bait movies these days.

Green Book is essentially a mitigated racism lesson for babies—AKA clueless, half-brained Americans (don’t worry I’m guilty of being one of them)—that as a film, may not be all too definitively divergent from the repetitively milked-down genre or as powerful and brawny as the Oscar’s want you to believe it is. Ultimately however, it is a passable, diverting bonding story that, for the most part, will have average audiences red-hot with cheer. 

The main issue with Green Book is how the screenplay describes its chain of events. Ha. The academy award winning “original” screenplay too, right? Nearly every side character is written like a parody of its truthful counterparts and additionally, every scenario is written like a caricature of its real-life events. I’m not saying that characters like this don’t exist cause they certainly do, it’s just that the characters in the film were given such garbage, politically thrown in your face, cornball dialogue that made some of the transpiring affairs seem almost like a joke. A good chunk of the dialogue advocated by these extras also, do at times feel extremely forced and so do a lot of the accorded situations.

The escalating relationship between Viggo Mortensen’s character Tony Lip, and Mahershala Ali’s character Dr. Donald Shirley, is the singular story element that thankfully, makes this movie watchable. Yes, it’s quite cheesy but nonetheless, enjoyable to witness play out thanks to Mortensen and Ali’s sharp and spellbinding performances. Furthermore, Dr. Donald Shirley’s backstory, credence, and evolution grants Green Book with much more credible prestige.

The cinematography is quite crisp too, I guess. So there’s that.

I don’t know if Hollywood’s decision to bank on Peter Farrelly—the man behind Hall Pass, The Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber To, and partially Movie 43—directing Green Book was the brightest idea. There’s nothing unique, inspiring, nor creative within the directing itself and it makes for quite the basic, plain, cracker-barrel experience. It’s doable though so, whatever. 

But in the end, yes, we get it movie studios. Racism back then was AWFUL. And yes, it’s unfortunate to recollect any history of it because it demeans our existence. However, we don’t need some cookie-cutter movie to tell us how far we’ve come and how fantastic of a society we’ve now become, and “Woah! Black people and white people can be friends? Wow isn’t that just new? Wow! Aren’t we just such competent, splendid, well-rounded individuals now?” Sarcasm aside, I can’t support movies that are assembled to make us pat ourselves on the back for being so much more “civilized” than we were back then when we still have ways to go. 

Also, stop spoon-feeding us transparent racism stories that could instead be accomplished in a much more down-to-earth, intellectually provocative manner. Wanna see good movies that expose racism realistically and respectively? Then please do yourselves a favor and check out the following: 12 Years a Slave, BlacKkKlansman, Selma, 13th, Gran Torino, Borat, American History X, Schindler’s List, Malcolm X, and Do the Right Thing.

I don’t hate Green Book, I’ll admit it, I had a decent time with it. I’m just aggravated by how Hollywood-ized and unwinded it is. I was enthralled by some parts of it and at other parts, I legitimately felt like I was watching a cartoon. Green Book manages to not feel genuine despite it being based on an unsoiled true story. It’s another cliché, watered-down, crowd-pleasing tale for schmucks who like to be mollycoddled when receiving important memos.

Verdict: C

Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are in the top 5 highest rated movies of 2018 on IMDb. Let that sink in…

Four Words: Velma From Scooby Doo

“Green Book” is now playing in theaters.

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