Told through the eyes of three women in the late 1960’s The Help is a film about African-American house maids and the struggles they go through working for upper class families in Mississippi. Narrated by Aibileen Clark, The Help tells us about social and economic injustices, and how one person can have a voice that helps change the world. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelin is determined to be writer, and after she gets a job at a local newspaper, she sees an opportunity to tell the world a story that has never been told. She begins to sit down with Aibileen, chronicling the ups and downs of a life that has its hardships. “Skeeter” helps many more women tell there stories, and goes onto to eventually publish the book.
Emma Stone has proven to be talented on a number of occasions, usually appearing in top notch comedies. She really outdid herself this time. Stone is much more honest and real then she has ever been. Playing a much more challenging character, Stone stepped up and gave Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelin a voice on the screen. Stone easily captured the charisma of a young girl determined to do something meaningful. Emma Stone should be very pleased with the fine performance she has given, she has taken such a wonderful and interesting character and given audiences around the world something to smile about.
The Help has everything it takes to be a good film. It has an emotional story, characters who are true to life, and a story that builds itself in three acts. The film allows the characters and there conflicts to grow, leading to a conclusion that is much more real life like then most films. The Help allows itself to be what it is, relying on the message and the power of a single voice. Instead of growing convoluted, The Help sticks to what helps build true story, emotion.
Viola Davis carries the film, her performance as Aibileen Clark is touching and real. Aibileen is an honest, hardworking and sincere woman, who is dealing with very heavy set emotions through out the film. Watching Davis transform into Aibileen, was a magnificent thing from a viewer stand point. When you hear the words, coming out of her mouth, they sting, they are so raw and driven, you cannot help but feel the pain coming from Aibileen. The mix of drama and humour between Aibileen and Minny (played by Octavia Spencer) is what really shows how good The Help is.
The Help is an honest film that takes a stance against social injustices, while showing us how much one person can make a difference, it also reminds us how sad life can be. Unfortunately, even 50 years later we still face social injustices everywhere. The Help serves as a reminder, that society will take every small victory against injustice anywhere we can get it.
Personally, I have no issue with a film taking a stance on a certain social issue. The problem usually lies within it being accurate in depicting said injustice. Yes films usually tend to overexert themselves when trying to subtly nail home a message. The one thing that seemed impressive about The Help, was that there was not that overly painful unbearable scene that will forever remain burned within our brains. What The Help shows us is that we are not only affected by what it is we see on the screen, but we are willing to sit down and listen to a message if the person presenting the message is smart in doing so.
Now is The Help the best film of all time? You could argue that it could be. It has all the makings to be considered for it, but honestly that is not how I want to view this film. I want to view The Help as the small little film with a darling cast, that showed me and hopefully many others the true meaning of having a voice and using it.