Film: Fences

Film: Fences


The award-winning play about a black Pittsburgh couple in the 1950s has been turned successfully into a pretty long film.

Troy is a sanitation worker (refuse collector to you and I) who believes he had what it took to be a professional baseball player if only they took blacks in the league then. He adores his wife who seemingly gave him a second chance at life as well as a teenage son, who it appears, his father has less regard for.

It is dialogue heavy, I imagine like the play, and really there is an hour of chatting before anything really happens and then the dramatic turn arrives. That’s a lot of setting the scene, most of it by Troy.

We learn the back story of Troy as he talks to his friend and his elder son from a previous dalliance. It’s difficult to have sympathy for the character who seems to be stagnant where as his young son is looking forward to his opportunities. But it’s easy to admire all of the performances.

I very much liked the direction. It needed something as most of the scenes are in the back yard and there is not much to see otherwise. It takes hard work to create the magic.

I’d heard a comment that it was the play bought to the screen rather than a film but if that brings both of the stage actors with it, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, then I’m all for it. The difference is I can eat chocolates and have coffee when watching it on the screen. They seem to frown about that stuff in theatres.

7½/10

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