Archive | 10:24 AM

‘The Hate U Give’ Movie Review

29 Apr

Movie poster via Amazon

I’d hoped that I would be able to watch the movie for The Hate U Give closer to when I finished reading it, but life didn’t agree. I was able to watch it two weeks ago when I had a house guest I didn’t know how to entertain. He and I were both swimming in the state meet and we needed something calm to do. What better than a politically charged teen movie about murder?

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Starr. Seriously, Amandla Stenberg. Amazing. She was exactly how I pictured Starr. She was sassy when she needed to be, sweet, and strong. She was just the character I’d pictured in my head and her emotions and attitude changes throughout were great. It’s hard to imagine what it is like to experience the trauma Starr did, but Stenberg brought it to life.

Maverick. I could summarize this and say casting, but each deserves its own credit. Russell Hornsby was great. I keep picturing the scene where he lined his kids up and made them repeat the Black Panthers’ Points. He was strong, moving and believable. Great performance.

King. When I read the book, I pictured King as a big, imposing figure. Not Anthony Mackie at all. So I struggled with his portrayal at first because it was so different from my mental picture. But Mackie won me over. His quiet, tough character was even more intimidating than what I’d originally pictured and I was terrified of him by the end!

Hailey. I struggled with Sabrina Carpenter in this role because I’m familiar with her playing a character named Maya in Girl Meets World so the names threw me off at first, but I got over it. I’d had trouble picturing a character who was a good friend and turned so negative so quickly. I thought the way Carpenter pulled it off was great.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out DeVante. I think this was a logical removal. DeVante had the options Maverick always wished he had, but the story wasn’t about Maverick, it was about Starr. Taking him out helped focus on Starr’s story.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Hailey’s comments about Maya. Hearing Maya mention Hailey’s comments about her race made me dislike Hailey even more in the book. It was something little, but it helped explain why Starr and Maya banded together and how misguided Hailey was. I think it would have been something quick to keep in that would have helped the story.

Things That Changed Too Much

Sekani at the end. Yeah, this one got me mad. Sekani taking Mav’s gun and aiming at King with Starr walking between him and a police officer was too much. I’m not crazy, right? This was totally different from the end of the book, right? Don’t get me wrong, it was very impactful. But it was too much.

Staying in Garden Heights. This really bothered me. Lisa and Mav’s fights about leaving or staying were a big part of the book and they surfaced in the movie, too. But when they decided to stay because King was gone instead of moving because it was the right move long-term, I was disappointed. The message of the book was that moving out wasn’t giving up. And I think the movie could have included that.

Overall, an amazing movie adaptation. I’m sad it took me so long to watch it, but I’m really glad I saw it. Reader, have you seen the movie for The Hate U Give? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

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