Hidden Figures (Review)
In the week since seeing “Hidden Figures” I have two things that I can’t seem to erase from my head: Pharrell’s song “Runnin’” from the movie’s soundtrack and Taraji P. Henson making her final run from the West Area Computers to the control room for Friendship 7. Maybe it was their constant pairings in the movie. But ultimately, I think it was one of the main messages I took away from the film: Keep running! This was not a film where one is running away from their problems, but to their solutions.
“Hidden Figures” focused on three women in NASA: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. And while this film had an outstanding cast, including Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali, I cannot get these three women out of my mind.
For years I have seen Taraji P Henson play the commanding and fun role of Cookie Lyon on “Empire”. Her persona of Cookie Lyon transfers over to “Hidden Figures” but completely morphs into the Katherine Johnson version. She’s whip-smart, she’s precise and detailed, but most importantly, she’s commanding. She doesn’t scream and she isn’t bitter, but she knows her value and won’t let men or her race defy her, as neither should. Henson is the centerpiece for film for me and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.
Octavia Spencer. What negative thing could anyone possibly say about this woman? She’s a force in Hollywood that I don’t think anyone can touch. She captures the attention of everyone whenever she enters the frame. For “Hidden Figures”, she steals the scene multiple times, but I think what gave me the most goosebumps was when she walked into the West Area Computers and said to her colleagues, “Ladies, we’ve been reassigned.” The camera then follows her walking a group of 50 plus women down the hallway. She smirks as she walks, and that’s all the satisfaction she, and the audience, needs.
Right when I said Janelle Monáe couldn’t have had a better year (her performance in “Moonlight” was short but incredibly powerful), she proves that she’s going to be a name to watch for, not only in the music industry, but the film industry as well. She’s the silent giant for me. Her presence may not always bring attention, but when she’s out to make a point, you’ll know. Refer to the court scene in this film and you can tell that Monáe is sticking around.
“Hidden Figures” is a total underdog story and that’s what I will repeatedly say I love most about Hollywood. The power of story and voice are always paramount. Luckily, there is no need for frills, just three women ready to work.
Watch the trailer for “Hidden Figures” below!