Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
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  • So apart from giving us the best feel-good movie of the year, it teaches us an important history lesson as well
  • And while the film keeps making you feel really good about life, the racial undertones will make you feel so bad about the past
  • But I like that the movie does not sympathize with this thought in a very obvious manner and keeps its focus in the achievements of its three leads
  • I can see some remnants of her award-winning performance here but she manages to be a little more bossy in this new role - a role that she's definitely good at
  • The terrific performances from the actresses remains a vital ingredient for this film to be as interesting as it is


by Laudemhir Jan Parel

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    Movies that emit contagious amount of goodness are rare these days, but this new Theodore Melfi-directed film is such a treat to the senses. It’s no denying that I applauded so many times in the duration of this movie.

    Hidden Figures is about the untold true story of three black women working at NASA at a time where it is almost impossible for them to work, let alone at one of the most prestigious agencies in the world. The civilization from our past constantly viewed women as inferiors to the working men - but these three ladies proved that the power of women should never be underestimated.

  • Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
  • Rare it is these days for movies to completely give justice to the portrayals of real people too, but this film works with all it has to offer us very satisfyingly-good stories most of us never knew. So apart from giving us the best feel-good movie of the year, it teaches us an important history lesson as well. Hidden Figures gives its characters a chance to develop; given that it has three central characters to focus on, it must be a feat to do justice in each of them in just a little bit over 2 hours.

  • Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
  • And while the film keeps making you feel really good about life, the racial undertones will make you feel so bad about the past. These women were hired by NASA as “computers” when they did not have the electronic machines yet to do the computing, but they were segregated to the “West Group” because they have different skin color. “Colored restroom”, “colored cup”, …. colored everything were provided for them as if they were some lower species of the human race.

    But I like that the movie does not sympathize with this thought in a very obvious manner and keeps its focus in the achievements of its three leads. After a very epic, emotional and well-earned scene in the middle, the rest of the film celebrates the good life.

  • Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
  • Katherine Goble (Taraji P. Henson) is a very gifted mathematician. Everyone in the colored section knows she can handle any numbers that are given to her. So when the Space Task Group asks for someone who can do analytic geometry, she accepts the task. But as a woman, and a black woman, working in an office full of mathematicians means a struggle to get through her job. She has to run half a mile carrying her assignments just to go to the colored restroom because there is none in the office she’s working. Henson proves that she’s up to the task, running fast in heels and still keep her glasses in check. She is truly exceptional in this role, and her big Oscar-clip, while random, feels very heartbreaking and authentic - by this time she has gotten the respect of her peers and mine. She makes her character so lovable and easy to root for.

  • Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
  • Likewise, Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) struggles to get the “Supervisor” title (and pay) for the colored section when she already acted as one in almost a year. The Academy Award winner proves she has so much more in her sleeves than just playing a maid in The Help. I can see some remnants of her award-winning performance here but she manages to be a little more bossy in this new role - a role that she’s definitely good at.

    Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) wants to be an engineer but the state where she’s in made it sure no black woman is going to become an engineer during her day. The “We Are Young” singer is such a revelation, in fact I am definitely surprised by her remarkable performance here. She has become so sassy - an attitude she greatly needed to succeed in her career path.

    Other supporting characters feels very crucial as well. Kevin Costner has really found his footing and I am glad he has done a serious job here.

  • Hidden Figures (2016 Biographical Drama Film)
  • What’s important to note in this movie is that these three women are given enough time to “tell” their stories. And while Katherine is on the lead, the other two are as important as her. Perhaps what makes this movie unique from most biopics is its ability to let us know just the right amount of details about its people. This film shows the life of Katherine and the other girls, romance and personal life are incorporated or otherwise we keep asking ourselves if these characters are really true.

    All in all Hidden Figures teaches us so much about the past; stories that really matter and needed to be recognized. The terrific performances from the actresses remains a vital ingredient for this film to be as interesting as it is. No one is going to know that Katherine Johnson made a very historic job as NASA’s most brilliant mathematician, and without her the US would be very far behind in the space race against Russia. Nor are we going to know that Mary Jackson became first black woman to become an aeronautic engineer at NASA. Not even Dorothy’s journey to become the first black supervisor in NASA’s IBM Division. But thanks to this film their names are going to be remembered by the ones who saw it. So when we look back at how far we are now in reaching the stars of this universe, remember these ladies are accountable for that!



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Andrew Leith says :

re : So apart from giving us the best feel-good movie of the year, it teaches us an important history lesson as well
And in such movies, we need to learn about the history of people and other cultures in order to appreciate the magnificence of human beings and interactions with different cultures and societies.

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Laudemhir Jan Parel replies :

Absolutely agree with you. I’m not American and if it wasn’t for this movie I wouldn’t have known about these important people that’s being overlooked in our history lessons.

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0
Camealia says :

re : So apart from giving us the best feel-good movie of the year, it teaches us an important history lesson as well
That’s true. It made me feel empowered as a woman. It inspired me.

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Laudemhir Jan Parel replies :

This is why I love movies, they have the power to inspire and empower people. :)

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