Warning: Spoilers ahead.
“The hate u give little infants f’s everyone.”
These words were spoken by Tupac Shakur, alluding to the acronym “T.H.U.G L.I.F.E.” This play on words impacted thousands back then and even to this day, inspiring one of the most impactful movies to come out in the past several years.
On October 19, George Tillman Jr.’s film The Hate U Give came out in select theaters across the United States. This film is based on a critically-acclaimed novel by the same name, which was written by Angie Thomas and follows Starr Carter, a young African-American teen who witnesses two of her best friends’ murders by a white cop.
At the beginning of the film, she is hesitant to speak out, believing that it would only make matters worse, but she realizes that words are the most powerful weapon, and she needed to use hers. Right off the bat, the film gave off a sense of importance. There was a quick thank-you from the director before the film began.
Then the film started, and instantly the screen felt warm. The scenes were color-graded to be bright and the warm tones to be drawn out. It made the audience feel like Starr’s home was the good place, and Tillman did a great job contrasting this setting with what is being said when Starr’s father is explaining what the kids need to do in case they are pulled over by a cop and he is not with them.
The next scenes take place at Starr’s high school, and the color grading shifts immediately to dark colors, and blue tones, showing how Starr feels like it isn’t home, which means she cannot be herself. Tillman and his cinematography team effectively showed the audience how the characters felt without even saying so. The film does a phenomenal job at pulling at the heartstrings of the audience to get everyone involved in the story so they can understand what is happening in society today.
The way Tillman executed such a controversial topic was wonderful. He was able to show all the sides of the argument of police brutality while showing the sides that never get broadcasted on the news because of news bias or the general fear of controversy.
Although some of the characters’ inner thoughts and voice overs felt a little forced near the beginning of the film, and some of the wording of the dialogue felt strange, the film almost perfectly encompasses the human condition and illustrates how racism is still rampant in our society. “The Hate U Give” is a film worth seeing over and over and should be the start of some change in the world.