“Selma” Exceeds Student Expectations


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Brooke Van Allen, Reporter, Columnist

When I waltzed into Hoyts Cinema last Monday night to view “Selma”, I was expecting nothing more than a subpar flick to pass the time. What better way to spend Martin Luther King Day than to view the latest movie on his mass influence on our country? What I didn’t anticipate when ordering extra buttery popcorn was just how much of an impact this movie would have on me. This film succeeded as a result of amazing actors, a connection to today’s events, and making history easier to understand.

The most critical aspect of a superb movie is actors. “Selma” was amazingly casted, I truly believe the movie would have been a failure if it weren’t for the work of David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King. “The actor resembled Martin Luther King so much in both his appearance and voice, it made the movie so realistic. He was able to portray his everyday desires and struggles,” explains senior, Morgan Baker. Many would agree with Morgan’s reasoning here, there’s no denying how much David paralleled Martin, and the effect it had on the film. Although nearly an impossible feat to exactly replicate King’s powerful voice, David did a fine job in giving speeches. As I was watching him speak, I truly felt empowered and can only imagine how it must have felt to actually listen to Martin Luther King talk on equal rights in 1965. I found myself rooting for his cause only a minute into “Selma”.

Why exactly did this movie appeal to and please teenagers so much? The common stereotype of adolescents is that we care about nothing having to do with our world or history; we just want to be entertained. My generation’s reaction to “Selma” proves otherwise. “This movie made me honestly stop and think about how much equality we’ve gained since that time period. You are basically born with the right to vote in this country now, and I’m really appreciative”, says senior, Holden Robinson. After learning about Martin Luther King and the 60’s year after year in history class, this film seemed to clear up everything in a matter of 2 hours. The storyline was so captivating while simultaneously easy to understand; it was perfect for my age group. In addition to discerning the past, “Selma” made undeniable connections to events happening today. Seeing the riots, marches, and people against cops in the streets, the thought of Ferguson was nagging at my mind. “I’ve been a part of protests in NYC, surrounded by people fighting for nothing more than equal rights and treatment for people of all colors. The innocent demands of these people so closely resemble that of citizens in the 1960’s that it’s almost frightening”, claims Aubrey Van Allen. Of course, we have come miles and miles from where we stood with racial equality back then, but we can’t ignore that we may still have a way to go. “Selma” was a box office hit because of how it taught history and drew in to the present.

I believe that when this film was made, the target audience was students. In some theaters, such as the Hartford Palace, tickets for students were even free! “Selma” was a masterpiece in the sense that it got kids interested in the appreciation of our country’s history, while still providing entertainment. I give this film 10 out of 10 stars, and recommend it to everyone considering making the trip.