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Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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The Help: Movie Review

Dale Robinette

“The Help”, an adaptation of the novel by Kathryn Stocket, is definitely academy bound. Speaking as a person who was originally, completely uninterested in seeing this film, it was absolutely incredible and, regrettably, I cried three times. What must this mean then? Go out and see it.

The first scene opens with Skeeter, a 22-year-old journalist who has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss, writing “The Help” on an otherwise blank sheet of paper and interviewing a house-maid, Aibileen, about her life as a maid, about the hardships and possible joys. After being asked how it feels to have to raise white children for a living while unable to see her own Aibileen begins to answer “it feel…” and slowly drifts to gazing out the window unable to answer, and the scene drifts into the past, showing how the two characters came to this meeting.

The audience then gets a peek at the personal life of Skeeter and her mother, whose only goal is seemingly to have her daughter gain the title of misses, as well as the personalities of the average white woman in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s.

Skeeter becomes distressed about the unfortunately ironic situation that occurs with maids while thinking about her own maid that raised her from birth, who had recently been banished while she was away at college.

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The maids raise several white babies throughout their lifetime; as children, they are loved and held above the importance of their own birth-mothers but once they grow into women, they treat their nannies just as their mother had. They treat the maids as if they are completely worthless and below them, as most blacks were treated in this era, and several eras before. So, Skeeter sets out to help change the plight of the maids that have come to be her beloved friends and practically family.

On the road to freedom and deserved rights by all, Skeeter and the maids, that agree to answer her questions about their lifestyle, have to hide absolutely everything because the consequences were just too risky for anyone to find out. Though, eventually is it almost impossible not to realize who the characters in the book actually were, once published, and everyone involved has to face the music and own up to their decision to chose how things should be rather than how things are.

The films’ success is definitely in part to its star-filled cast. Emma Stone, who starred in popular movies such as “Easy A” and more recent films like “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” plays the lead role of Skeeter. The role of the older, wiser maid, Aibileen, was played by Viola Davis and her sassy side-kick, Minny Jackson was played by Octavia Spencer.

The film as a whole displays a beautiful message about self-realization and moral conquest as well as a few laughs along the way.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

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The Help: Movie Review