Friday, February 12, 2010

"Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" (2009) - Movie Review

There are movies which do not make the despair as an art and does not have hopes of living it up to a feel good end. “Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire” tells the story of a sixteen year old obese girl in the Harlem and it goes with the direction where we instantly know that there is nothing good going to happen to her. Then it does something beautiful which you never expected would come out of this, hope, unadulterated and in its purest form. If anywhere it would have been ground level real and alive, this is where the word suits to be.

Debutant Gabourey Sidibe as Claireece “Precious” Jones convinces us that she is sixteen. But there are things bigger than an actor convincing the viewer. This is confrontation of the judgment we carry and the film asks the honesty. Previous is obese and is not the girl someone would immediately ask for a date. This is the truth and while there are several films which puts those out there, this puts everything on the table, naked. It wants the audience to get over that fact. There are indeed bigger things at stake and the circumstances reverts everyone around. We genuinely see things for what it is.

Precious sits in the last bench as in the days of the college I took as a sign of mischievous status symbol. Here she does not want to be noticed and still get a perspective on the other normally structured and bred kids lead their life. She likes math and like the teacher even more. She enforces discipline if someone disturbs the math class but it is time to get called by the Principal. She is pregnant with her second baby and immediately director Lee Daniels makes his audience think of how stupid one can be to get pregnant again at this age. We see the horrendous reality followed. We are not made us to feel guilty to judge. It dismisses the notion and there is nothing between the truth and us.

Precious lives in the most horrible condition with the most cruelest character I have seen in the recent days of film history. That will be her mother, Mary (Mo’Nique). She is disgusting, mean and unclean. In the living room with the fragrance flavoured with nicotine, she sits and watches television. An old dusty television and orders her daughter to cook, clean and be a slave. She beats, abuses, insults, lets her boy friend rape Precious. She is not scary or deadly but brings an unsettling feeling which has to be seen to be believed. She is not a drug addict but is more vicious than any one driven as such. She hates Precious for reasons we learn in the end which only agitates more hatred towards this character. If Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor in 2007 with no questions asked, this year the supporting role for Best Actress should goto Mo’Nique handsdown. This is unlike any other nature of evil you would have seen through gore and terror.

Precious gets by through her dark days that never seem to end by fantasizing and creating an escapism which she knows. It is the only addiction which gets her to be alive. Not hoping and acknowledging the lie she imagines, this is not escapism.

Precious in this circumstances do find some good people. One will be the alternative school she gets assigned to and the tutor out there. Miss Blu Rain (Paula Patton) is the perfect teacher. She asks her students who are all Harlem’s faint reach for hope to write whatever they feel. Miss Rain reads those and replies back. An exemplary form of opening up communication. Listening and replying with a care which they never experienced.

Lee Daniels gives a picture which hides no shame in the living conditions of the African American predominant projects and the people using the welfare to lead on their life with nothingness and spite their family members and others. But in between those there springs tiny flowers with the spots of its own. It does not do Himalayan achievements if they are compared with accomplishments the inspirational film boasts but this is more than a physical achievement. This is defeating the emotions of fundamental cruelty practiced with immense precision by Mary and the conditions around her. Precious gets out and in the land of nothing but misery, she finds the happiness that has no place otherwise.

Much has been said about this film and much I have said about the performance of Mo’Nique but this is an all round performance. Starting from the protagonist played by Gabourey Sidibe through Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz (in an almost unidentifiable normal look) and Mariah Carey, this is an empathy in studying these characters. This is a movie which created much buzz like the mediocre “Slumdog Millionaire” and trust me, “Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire” is not a buzz but a film of human emotions at its best and worst. An unrelenting film, this is more than one of the best movies of the 2009. This is real.

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