Our Love for Hollywood’s Newest Masterpiece “The Hate U Give”
By Anahi Anaya
The entertainment industry has addressed social injustice in its films for years, including popular moveis such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Crash,” and “The Help”. On Oct. 25, the film industry released its newest tearjerker, a movie about discrimination and an abuse of power still seen today, entitled “The Hate U Give.” Through the repeated acronym “T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E.” which was originally used by Tupac, there is emphasis on its significance for not only the movie but its relevance to the world today.
The film touches on strong subjects like police brutality, racism, and an unfair justice system, making it more than just a casual watch. This is not just seen in the movie, but also in current news, as there have been many occurrences when police have abused their power and called it protocol. One of the most common examples of racism is the stereotypes people experience on a daily basis. This is most strongly seen in the justice system, where people of color rarely win cases; there is clear preference for white people through the excuses made for their crimes.
The film’s main character, Starr Carter, is played by Amandla Stenberg, known for her role in films like “The Hunger Games” and “The Darkest Minds.” Carter’s co-stars include Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Algee Smith, KJ Apa, and Common. With such a talented cast and crew, it is no wonder that this movie is such a big hit.
The film is based on a young adult bestselling novel written by Angie Thomas. It offers a point of view on police brutality and racism through the eyes of Starr Carter, a 16-year-old who witnesses the death of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. Starr struggles to find her identity from the beginning of the novel, as she constantly switches between two worlds. In one, she is an inhabitant of a poor, predominantly black neighborhood. In the other, she is a student at a privileged, predominantly white prep school. After witnessing the shooting of her best friend, both worlds collide and Starr must decide what side she is on and what is right.
The plot consists of Starr’s struggles and how the community deals with the injustices of the systematic racism. The film illustrates the difficulty of finding an identity and speaking up for what is right, regardless of age, race, or gender. Although Starr is a black teenage female, she chooses to speak up for Khalil, the black teenager fatally shot by the police officer. This is a difficult yet powerful move because as a young black woman, she is expected to keep quiet or let adults handle difficult situtations. She decides to defy these expectations and fight for justice for Khalil. Though Khalil’s story is fictional, it is a realistic representation of the threats that young men of color face every day.
Starr continuously fights an internal battle on what her definition of justice is and what steps she will take. Because of the differences between her two worlds, she is left with an ultimatum. Starr can either stand for justice and ruin the image she has fought to keep at her school, or she can remain quiet and not take part in the social reform movements that can ultimately change the injustice in her community. In the end, she chooses the latter after experiencing gang violence in her neighborhood, the ignorance of media, and the carelessness of white students at her school. She sees how hate has impacted her family and friends, and how it has done so continuously for generations.
“The Hate U Give” was executed beautifully, regardless of the few key differences between the book and the movie. Many rave about the film’s execution, but many more appreciate how the content of the movie is approached. Audiences everywhere have been affected by the film, leaving theaters moved and in tears. Although the movie itself will likely not make an impact on the current societal injustices, it can bring more awareness to some of the United States’ most pressing social issues, making it a must-see film of the year.
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Screenplay: Audrey Wells
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, KJ Apa, Russell Hornsby, Regina Hall, Algee Smith, Common
Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes