By Ian Crow
Based on the play of the same name by August Wilson, Denzel Washington stars and directs this dramatic following of Troy Maxson, a working-class black man having to raise his family and deal with other events that are going on in his life. Dealing with peoples rubbish on a daily basis, getting paid $70 a week and having to look back on what could have been are the issues that Troy has to deal with. Not only that, but his son Cory is growing up fast and is beginning to see past his father’s ways. As time goes by, they become heated as Cory looks to look after his mother (Viola Davis) as he thinks that his father isn’t doing what’s best for them.
Fronted by an experienced cast, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis deliver some of the best performances you’ll see this year. Having been adapted from a play, you’re expecting big monologues and there’s no one better than Denzel Washington at delivering them. Fences is full of speeches that are portrayed across by Washington throughout the film. It’s almost awe-inspiring when you’re watching him deliver them, but not only that; it’s the raw emotion that he possesses when he says them. It’s a supremely powerful performance by him and it has to be his best for a decade. Obviously a big lover of the play, his passion and energy oozes on screen for every single second he is on screen. Accompanying him is the brilliant Viola Davis. She shows how much of a good actress she is by standing side by side and matching up to Denzel Washington’s strong performance. Her character at the start comes across as delicate and fragile but as the story moves on, Viola Davis injects this power into her performance as turns her character into a strong woman that gives some heart wrenching moments.
Adapted from his own play, August Wilson has done an incredible job of adapting it onto the big screen. It almost feels like the play itself, the long monologues and the long use of one or a couple of settings throughout. It’s insane to think that he adapted it into screenplay form 12 years ago and ultimately this became his last piece of work as he died shortly after back in 2005. The screenplay is that good that he is deserving of his nomination at this year’s Academy Awards.
I could never ever tire of watching Denzel Washington on top form. When he performs like he does in this film, you simply cannot take your eyes of him. Powerful and commanding as ever, Washington shows that the fire inside his belly hasn’t been put out. Davis as always delivers a strong performance and helps balance out the films mood expertly. A fascinating and tireless watch, Fences is one of my shock favourite films of 2017 so far. 4.5 out of 5 stars.