Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fruitvale Station - DVD Review

Starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz.
Directed by Ryan Coogler.


For a couple minutes after it was over, I just sat there, basking in the silence.

In 2009, a police officer shot and killed Oscar Grant III, who was laying on his stomach in the process of getting handcuffed. The officer later explained he thought he'd pulled out his Taser gun and accidentally pulled out his handgun. The event was recorded on a few smartphones, and outrage over the incident quickly spread.

Grant's story is another example of an unjustified death of a young black man, and had this movie been made 20 years ago, it'd probably be about the white lawyer fighting for justice in Grant's death. What we get here is the last 24 hours in Grant's life. We get to watch a normal, imperfect guy just living his life leading up a senseless, stupid mistake.

Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, That Awkward Moment) is very comfortable in the role of Grant. Sometimes it feels like a hidden-footage film with us just following Grant around. We see him meet up with his friends, call his mother, play with his daughter, and just living life up to New Year's Eve. This subtle style just makes his fate more heart-breaking. Very moving.

And keep an eye out for writer/director Ryan Coogler. This is a fantastic full-length feature debut.

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