“The Help” Review

September 21, 2020

In the past few months, there has been a shift in the equality of our world. Many individuals have come forward and expressed their experience with racism. There has been a change in the education of racism as more people have been learning about this issue. One movie that shows the troubles of the 1960s and racism is “The Help.” This movie was recently trending on Netflix which is rewarding due to it’s important message. 

The story of the novel and movie follows an aspiring journalist, Skeeter, as she tells her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen and Minny. Her novel will follow a story from the point of view of a black maid working for a white family. Skeeter meets with them in secret and listens as they share their stories exposing the racism they encounter. In this case, sometimes people just need to feel heard. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone states, “a deeply touching human story filled with humor and heartbreak is rare… that’s what makes The Help an exhilarating gift.” This is an important point because there are moments where one may laugh, but other moments where one may tear up. It portrays the ups and downs of that time thoroughly. 

Throughout the movie, it highlights the issues African American women had when working for white families. Within the first ten minutes of the movie, having a separate bathroom for ‘the help’ is a priority to the white ladies. The black women pretend like this does not bother them, even though they are angry about it. They feel nothing is fair about their situation, but speaking up may cause a huge uproar so they know it is better to stay quiet. The idea of staying quiet about their complaints continues throughout the plot, it shows them starting to give up thinking they will not ever get the dream life they deserve. 

Some people have issues with the plot as it focuses on a white woman saving the black people in the south. Meghan Keane from Observer explains, “if you can suspend your belief that a cute 22-year old had the power to succeed with civil rights where Martin Luther King and President Kennedy failed, The Help actually has a lot to offer.” Because the big picture of the movie is a white woman saving the black people, it is important to look into the details. Throughout the movie, it shows many issues including having a separate bathroom for ‘the help’, putting up with snarky comments from the white families, barely making enough money to survive and houses so small they can barely fit a family. Even though we are not currently dealing with the issue of slaves and instead it was a part of the past, it is important to learn about it. This idea can make us think questions like: is there still inequality in the lives around us?

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