The Hate U Give is a moving film adaptation of the Angie Thomas novel that highlights the challenges of being an activist and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one. It’s an absolute must-see.
Actress Amandla Stenberg is a force to be reckoned with as she portrays this ever-conflicted character with fire and grace. Her emotionally heavy moments resonate and pull us into every scene. We weren’t too convinced about the choice of casting as we had never seen her take on an emotionally demanding role such as this but her T.H.U.G performance wins us over. She embodies Starr Carter with every fibre of her being.
The whole cast gives a stellar performance. Our favourites are Algee Smith (who plays the heartthrob, Khalil), Regina Hall (plays Starrs mother, Lisa) and TJ Wright (Starr’s adorable little brother, Sekani). The main characters are all authentic and relatable.
Issa Rae was interesting to watch. Those who are familiar with her work would not be very accustomed to see her in such a serious role, but she did a good job. It took us back to the day we got to ask her questions at the In Good Company Experience in August 28th, and she presented very serious, wise and insightful opinions on matters that are important to her. Engaging with her in this way made it easier for us to adjust to her formal and serious demeanor in this film. It was quite refreshing to see her get a chance to break her type-cast.
Common played Common, but we love him regardless. As monotone as his acting can be, he didn’t actually ruin the movie at all. The black community always appreciates Common’s involvement in anything this meaningful because of the kind of person we know him to be. Girl Boss is definitely here for it.
The icing on the cake would have been a Dave Chappelle cameo. Just a small appearance by a very prominent voice in the black community who isn’t afraid to make bold political statements in his interviews, speeches and stand-up acts. But we’ll take what we can get.
We are so relieved and proud to say that the emotional weight of the book translated very well into the movie. These movie/book adaptations don’t always go so well but The Hate U Give director, George Tillman Jr., showed us exactly how it’s done.
Favourite quote from the film: “It is impossible to be unarmed when our blackness is what they fear.”
Girl Boss rating: 9/10