By Ian Crow

Amandla Stenberg leads the Crime Drama ‘The Hate U Give’ in the role of Starr. Starr is a young teenager growing up in America surrounded by a supportive family, a family with strong values and values with which Starr also holds. Over the course of one night, a normal teenage party turns into one of horror; escaping the party following a gunshot, Starr and her childhood friend, Khalil, begin their drive home to safety. However, all goes astray when the two are pulled over by the police with the driver, Khalil, being asked to vacate. Telling you nothing more than what the trailer reveals; he does not take this situation seriously and instead reaches back into the driver’s seat. This leads to a fatal mistake on the part of the policeman; firing his weapon on Khalil. The following distress is both for the policeman who realises his mistake, but mainly for Starr. With pressure coming from all sides of the community, Starr must decide whether to stand up and fight for justice or keep quiet.

Luckily for me I was extremely fortunate to come across this film in an early release; at a secret showing.  ‘The Hate U Give’ is by far one of the better films I have seen this year. Pertinent to this film’s success is the relevancy to African-Americans in the modern world; the controversial matter of police brutality and the every-day institutional struggles faced by African-Americans. Most impressive is the way in which ‘The Hate U Give’ tells this story. The film doesn’t hold back on the brutal facts that this is an ongoing issue within America. Many a film that would explore this subject would paper over the cracks, but the film pulls the punches and gives a true telling of the horrible actions made by the Police. Even with the 12A rating, ‘The Hate U Give’ does not hold back, providing the audience with a hard-hitting and bold attempt to show what modern America is like for Black people.

In addition to the story itself, ‘The Hate U Give’ is overflowing with strong cast members. Amandla Stenberg does a superb job in the lead role; still very young in the acting game she is strong, providing one of my favourite performances of the year and is definitely someone I’ll be looking out for in future projects. Her ferocity and power that come across on-screen is wholly impressive, especially from someone so young. Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie provide great supporting roles but my favourite of all, Russell Hornsby; who in my opinion deserves to be considered as one of the best supporting actors around this coming awards season

For a genre and subject matter like this, it takes strong performances all round to really allow the film to take off and deliver such a fantastic end product. ‘The Hate U Give’ delivers on at all angles and is one to be revisited and I implore everyone to see this film; not only because of the message it spreads, but the film as a whole. With the combination of both acting and directing at the topmost level this film makes you care for the characters you see on-screen and immerse you within their lives.

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