With a story that has as much going on as The Help, it's important to cultivate characters individually while
allowing the narrative to flourish. My main issue with Tate Taylor's The Help was that it had some great
acting and moving scenes, all of which was mostly overshadowed by melodramatic
1960s Jackson, Mississippi white families typically hired black maids to take
care of their home and care for their children. Aibileen and Minny have worked
for families in the area for a long time and have plenty of stories to tell.
Young Skeeter has just returned home from Ole Miss and longs to become a
writer. When she conjures up the idea to write a controversial book from the
perspective of black women working for white families she asks for Aibileen and
Minny's help, despite the understood risk that is involved.
Davis, Jessica Chastain and Sissy Spacek are dynamite on screen as they
captured their roles (even when they are insubstantial) and give heart to their
characters. Octavia Spencer was a great choice to play Minny, but sometimes she
allows the part to become a caricature of herself. Unfortunately, their acting
talent only highlights everyone else's lack thereof as many members of the cast
leave much to be desired.
on Kathryn Stockett's book, the film version of The Help could only scratch the surface of the importance of these
women and their lessons being told. At a lengthy runtime of 137 minutes, what
they chose to film seemed intended for silly laughs and sappiness that in no
way enhances the overall storyline. Furthermore, those who have read the book
will be highly disappointed by a substantial plot change that deals with a
turning point in the lives of Skeeter, her family and her beloved maid Constantine.
The Help isn't trying to change anything
or start another civil rights movement. It wants to tell a story with plenty of
Hollywood charm that just so happens to be based on a best-selling book that
deals with racial segregation. I won't discount the certain amount of talent,
but I can't say I enjoyed how they went about telling the story.