The Hate U Give
Review by Myla Tosatto
The new film The Hate U Give directed by George Tillman Jr. looks EXACTLY like I imagined the 2017 YA novel by Angie Thomas that it is based upon. I mean this as the highest compliment imaginable. When a beloved book becomes a movie, one hopes that it will respect and represent the source material. This one goes beyond even my wildest hopes and dreams (I’m admittedly a little jaded after seeing so many of my favorite books underwhelm on the big screen).
Amandla Stenberg stars (and I mean STARS- she is the real deal, people) as Starr, a 16-year-old young woman from a poor neighborhood that attends an affluent private school. Because of this, she feels drawn to two worlds and she doesn’t exactly belong in either. This problem is compounded when she sees one of her best childhood friends shot by the police. She has to keep her cool at her school with her friends Chris (K.J. Apa), Sabrina Carpenter (Hailey), and Maya (Megan Lawless). Back at home and in her neighborhood she has to deal with it in a different matter. Her family is reluctant for her to come forward but her father Mav (Russell Hornsby), mother Lisa (Regina Hall), brother Seven (Lamar Johnson) and uncle Carlos (Common) trust her and support her decisions. She is in a precarious position between what is right and what can lead to trouble with bad guy King (Anthony Mackie) who wants to her to keep her mouth shut and activist April Ofrah (Issa Rae) who wants justice.
This is a movie for everyone. Even if you think you don’t need to see it. ESPECIALLY for those who think they don’t need to see it. It flat out deals with societal racism. There is no sugar coating it. Discussions need to be had. Have them. Bring your kids. Bring your partners. Bring your parents. Most importantly, bring yourself. Go see this movie. And if you haven’t read the book. . . WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? READ. IT. NOW.
THE HATE U GIVE is a timely, powerful and thought-provoking story of race and identity, told from the perspective of Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games, As You Are). Starr is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. What Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Now playing in theaters!