Fences (2016) - Denzel Washington
Based on the renowned stage play, Denzel Washington's Fences is heavily performance and dialogue-driven, a film that at times feels far too much like a stage play due to its artistic execution, specifically in terms of cinematography and direction. Luckily for the viewer, what the film sorely lacks in visual storytelling it more than makes up in other categories such as performance and screenplay, with nearly every performance from top to bottom being phenomenal. Featuring Denzel Washington, who gives his best performance in years, Fences is a tough film to experience, a story of hardship, circumstance, pain, and self-doubt, documenting one families struggle to get by under the somewhat tyrannical reign of Troy, a father and husband whose tough life experiences have shaped him into an angst-filled, hardened, disgruntled individual, a man who can't help but only see the negatives in life. Slow-building and tense from start to finish, Fences is a film that takes its time developing its main characterizations in Troy and his wife, Rose, with a screenplay that slowly unravels the troubled circumstances of their past, reaching a point where one can't help but feel somewhat sympathetic for Troy, a man whose intense cynicism and grandoise feelings of failure and incompetence in life have made him extremely tough on his offspring; a man whose so broken by a troubled past that his only true place of solace lies at the bottom of a liquor bottle. Rose, the astute and loving wife of Troy, is the glue which holds the family together, a selfless woman who is sympathetic to Troy's troubled past. Constantly stuck between Troy's intense cynicism and her children's hopes and dreams, Rose is a character who finds herself lacking a sense of purpose at times throughout the film, stuck under the totalitarian regime of Troy, a man who simply can't accept help from his own wife, stuck in a death-spiral of self-inflicted despair and angst at a world in which he feels cheated by. Rose is a character who desperately wishes to help, always providing empathy and kindess to her husband, yet she is always put at arms reach, stuck in a perpetual life of solitude due to her husband's inability to truly accept his weaknesses in life and ask for help from his wife, Rose. A story about personal accountability and self worth, Denzel Washington's Fences is a surprisingly powerful and uplifting experience in the end, a film full of hardship which trumpets the importance of having personal accountability but also accepting help when it is neccessary, tapping into the fundamental nature of the importance of individuals need to only focus on what they can control, being the best person they can be, instead of focusing on the outside forces of the world in which one simply cannot control
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