Sunday, February 12, 2012


I have looked at a critical analysis of the film Precious - the adaptation of the book.
the review talks of basic narrative and commends the story written by Sapphire, and how it comes across Directorialy from Lee Daniels. Jewel Stewart the reviewer comments on how "problematic" the character of Mary comes across. he says the film relies on the villanisation of the black Matriarch. This i can understand, as Mary comes across as horrifying and you can tell that she is a huge influence on precious'es life. whereas precious accepts and expects the abuse the audience is given a frequent dose of shock almost every time Mary is on screen. the acting by Mo'Nique is overpowering and downright captivating i found that her scenes in the film to be the most stirring and drove the narrative but did not "rely" on. Stewart says that Mary has no redeemable quality's and the film creates a narrative that is a bad representation of the "welfare queen" (a term used for people living off welfare in the 80s) i disagree as the character of Mary is built and then unwound in the scene where precious gets Mongol back, i think this engages the audience as they become conditioned to dislike and be disgusted by Mary's actions without reason, but then the audience feels pity and understanding in the scene were Mary explains herself. The audience is on the same level as Precious as Mary is talking of the past as the history is revealed and relates with precious when she chooses not to forgive. it is great construction and unfolds in such an engaging way that keeps viewers hanging on Precios'es responses to the traumatic story being re sited by Mary. The audiance also feels ignorance as they can get swept up in the cruelty given by Mary and fail to ask why she is doing it - clever tool to make the audiance's veiwing experiance more levelled
Stewart says Daniels approach to the narrative is "lazy on behalf of the filmmakers, but also wholly irresponsible to the African-American community." i can see his point, as it makes African Americans of the time seem like animals, a horrible quote from the film that stuck with me was from a monologue precious re sites whilst walking up a street [Taking an assessment test] "There's always something wrong with these tests. These tests paint a picture of me with no brain. These tests paint a picture of me and my mother, my whole family as less than dumb. Just ugly black grease, need to be wiped away, find a job for." it shows that the character precious knows of the image of Black Americans living off welfare by others in the upper classes, and she's sour about it. Daniels does well to highlight precious'es observation of this view and the self deprecation it brings doesn't try to flatter the truth, I think this film is informative of a bad time for black culture living in almost poverty like conditions and not that of an inconsiderate and offensive piece, that exploits African American dramatic life in the 80s.

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