The theme for my birthday was small and intimate. My friend and I decided to watch a movie or should I say, I wanted to watch a movie and she ehm invited herself along. (Ok! I am just kidding oh, in case she sees this post) . She sponsored the trip as per it was my birthday and we watched Hidden Figures .
It turned out to be a pretty good choice ( FYI, I chose it after perusing what was showing online at the Cinema) and my friend really enjoyed herself. She was like “This is the best movie ever”. Lol. If you haven’t watched it, allow me to tell you why we both loved Hidden Figures.
Hidden Figures is a true life story about three black women Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn played by Taraji P Henson, Janelle Monae, and Octavia Spencer respectively who worked at NASA and were instrumental in the space program of that time.Their story is unique because they achieved this despite racism, sexism and officism ( I made that up).
Other stars include Mahersahli Ali ( he just won an Oscar) and Jim Parsons. Apparently Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner star, but I didn’t recognize them while watching. (Oh! Now I remember their faces).
Katherine Goble played by Taraji P Henson is a brilliant mathematician who does the work of a computer. Her brain is that sharp. She calculates landing coordinates for space shuttles from her head and was the first black woman in her team.
Imagine being brilliant, beautiful and black and working in a typically male dominated field in an era when blacks and whites did not sit together in the same bus and your brilliance is discounted because of the color of your skin and your sex. Yes! That’s what this women had to pass through and I am certain that it is only because of their undeniable brilliance and contributions that their story got told and they got celebrated years after.
There are elements of history, romance, racism, segregation, sexism which make it very well-rounded but that of racism can leave you a bit sad.
For example, the scenes where Taraji P Henson had to always run to use the bathroom because the ” Coloured” bathroom was in another building miles away, the scene in the Bus where the whites and the black sit apart, not being able to borrow a book you want because it’s in the ” white section”.
Or Janelle Monae’s character having to literally argue in Court just to be able to attend Night University, etc. I mean, you just squirm in your seat.
If it was that jarring, annoying and sad on film, imagine what it must have been like in real life, imagine what it still feels like in real life to be thought ” lesser” because of the Colour of your skin. My brother lives in Europe and he still experiences it.
Thankfully, there are other powerful and sweet scenes in the movie to sweeten the sour taste of racism and the movie does a good job of carrying the audience along.
You feel the despair when the Russians put Yuri Gagarin on the moon first, and smile with the characters when they finally succeeded in putting a man on the moon and worry when John Glenn’s space shuttle has a problem. You almost feel like clapping when he lands successfully. You get a feel of what working in NASA during that time must have been like.
My favorite “Hidden Figures” moments
Janelle Monae’s powerful argument in Court and her assertion that she couldn’t change the Colour of her skin was a good one.
The scene where Taraji’s character enters the briefing room and all the men turn to look at her in surprise and disbelief at her audacity, then she works her magic and when she leaves, they turn to look at her in awe is another pleasing scene.
Another favorite of mine is where the Director literally breaks the “for whites only “bathroom sign and declares that there was no more disparity. Goes to show that a good boss will stand up for his subordinates no matter the status quo.
Other powerful moments include Octavia Spencer’s character standing up for her ” girls”, her forward thinking , and the scene where they all march to a better room courtesy of her. The camera flashing to the sea of legs marching made a powerful statement.
It’s an awesome film, and goes to show that hard work, brilliance, and persistence cannot be ignored no matter the Colour of your skin or your sex. Plus it’s entertaining, great casting and grabs your attention from the first scene.
Verdict- ✅ Definitely worth seeing.