REVIEW: ‘The Hate U Give’ is a powerful, must-watch film


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The film was based off a novel of the same name.

Pow! Silence engulfed the audience. No whisper or movement could be heard. Emotions ran high as the film showed a bullet piercing through the teenage boy. Empowering, heartwarming and chilling, “The Hate U Give” was released nationwide last Friday, Oct. 19.

Directed by George Tillman Jr., “The Hate U Give” is based on Angie Thomas’s 2017 award-winning young adult novel of the same name. With an all-star cast featuring KJ Apa, Sabrina Carpenter and Amandla Stenberg, this film tackles the controversial topic of police brutality and racism. The murder and aftermath of the death of a youth are just too real and honest.

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood, but she attends a rich, mostly white private school rather than her local high school. Her struggle to find herself in between these two worlds is soon overshadowed when she witnesses a policeman shoot her childhood best friend, Khalil Harris (Algee Smith). Starr must choose to either speak out and risk death threats or stay quiet.

In conjunction with the film’s honest portrayal of racism, Stenberg’s acting is truly captivating. According to the National Public Radio, Stenberg said reading the book was “this strange, spiritual thing,” as if she was reading her own diary. Stenberg’s acting brought chills and tears to viewers’ eyes from the truthfulness of her emotions.

While the film addresses a hard topic, “The Hate U Give” still provides brief scenes of humor and warmth. The interaction among Starr’s family is so heartwarming and sweet that it gives the audience a feeling of peace.

Similar to many book adaptations, “The Hate U Give” omits many significant scenes from the novel. For example, DeVante, a teenager caught up in drug dealing who turns to Starr’s family for help, is not even mentioned in the movie. The film also omits many heartfelt scenes between Starr and her uncle (Common) that would have definitely enhanced the film.

“The Hate U Give” received an A+ from Cinemascore as well as 96% score from Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film only received $10.6 million at the box office for its first week so far, over $10 million shy from its $23-million budget, according to Box Office Mojo. In comparison to other hit October movies, “The Hate U Give” deserves more praise and a larger audience. The film’s overall meaning significantly overpowers other movies that are merely for entertainment purposes.

Hoping to inspire change in today’s society, “The Hate U Give” is a must-watch for viewers of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.