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The true story of an American hero: Jackie Robinson

“42” is the movie you have been hoping would arrive during the year 2013. Audiences have been hungry for a serious drama that would impress, entertain and awe them and they get all that and more with “42” the story of Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier in major league baseball. The movie covers only a few years in Robinson’s career but it shows him being selected by Dodgers’ owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) to play with his farm team in Montreal and later moving up to the Brooklyn Dodgers. This is certainly enough story to fill a two hour film and it does so completely. The crux of the story is the relationship between Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) and Rickey. Rickey particularly selects Robinson because of his abilities and his personality. These two men made history in the 1940’s when racial prejudice was at its highest. The movie never shies away from the abuse, both physical and emotional, Robinson took as he worked his way on to the field. Along the way he was supported by Rickey and his wife Rachel (Nicole Beharie) but shunned by most of his teammates and the fans. There is a particularly vile encounter with Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk), the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies team. Hearing the epithets and watching Robinson’s anguish is excruciating but it is also necessary to be shown in order to get the full impact of what occurred. Boseman is amazing as Robinson. He manages to maintain the character of this brave athlete as well as show his physical prowess. You have heard of star making roles and this one should certainly qualify as that. Ford is also excellent as Rickey. He submerges himself into this role and becomes the man. Both Ford and Boseman should be remembered when awards are being handed out next year. Lucas Black also makes an impression as Pee Wee Reese. With his flat southern drawl and his kindly manner Black makes Reese come alive on screen even though he only has a few scenes in which to create the character. Beharie also makes an impression as Rachel Robinson. She brightens every scene in which she appears. Hats off to Brian Helgeland for his amazing script and his directing of the film. Mark Isham’s haunting musical score is also worthy of note. “42” has overtones of classic sports themed movies like “Hoosiers” and “The Natural.” It makes an impression and stays with the viewer long after the movie has ended. It is definitely the best movie of 2013 to date. I scored “42” a home run 9 out of 10. Courtesy: Jackie K Cooper, Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Brian Helgeland
Running Time: 
Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, Ryan Merriman
Screenplay by: 
Brian Helgeland

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