Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, 'Harriet' tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into one of America's greatest heroes. Haunted by memories of those she left behind, Harriet (Cynthia Erivo) ventures back into dangerous territory on a mission to lead others to freedom. With allies like abolitionist William Still (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and the entrepreneurial Marie Buchanon (Janelle Monae), Harriet risks capture and death to guide hundreds to safety as one of the most prominent conductors of the Underground Railroad. Witness the story of a woman who defied impossible odds to change the course of her life and the fate of the nation.
A tremendous true story excellently told, displaying the extraordinary courage of the title character in her fight against the hideous iniquity of slavery.
Fine performances from all the main characters but especially from Cynthia Eviro as the eponymous hero.
Well worth watching and for many, I suspect, required viewing.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Highly recommended gripping film
- Harriet review by MM
Harriet Tubman - this film illustrates what an unbelievably courageous and all round amazing woman this lady was. Throws into relief the bitter cruelty of slavery as an embedded institution in the southern states of America - how this ever co-existed alongside the Declaration of Independance has always astonished me. A highly recommended film.
Harriet was such an awesome person and so courageous. The character wonderfully portrayed. Good straight forward story telling which makes a great, if necessarily tense film to watch. This is one of those stories that we should all know. Without knowing it you are depriving yourself of seeing some really important history of not only the USA, but by implication much of the world. A legacy we all need to understand fully in current world politics.
I found this film shallow and trivialising. I thought it shoe-horned an important piece of American history into an outdated romantic-adventure movie template, straight out of 1950s Hollywood. The dialog was embarrassing; the interaction between the (highly talanted) actors was wooden and stilted; the sets were confected and unrealistic; all sense of history and genuine humanity was lacking; cliches were abundant; it lacked any sense of real hazard or suspense. After watching half the film, I found it too painful to continue. Apart from the fact that it addresses a subject that has been largely ignored by the world of film, I can find little to recommend it
I enjoyed this tale, with the added piquancy of being based on a true story. Cynthia Erivo (Minty/Harriet) holds the screen as she progresses from cowed slave to inspiring commander. The photography is excellent throughout and the music track not too distracting.
It is a very conventional film, not really pushing any boundaries. Some of the chase scenes slightly stretch credulity - can a person really outrun a horse through fairly open woodland, can tracking dogs not catch her and loose the scent that easily - but these only require minor suspension of disbelief.
The whole business of Harriet being guided by the voice of god is handled well - whilst sensing danger and finding a safe river crossing can be read as minor miracles thanks to divine intervention, they can equally well be read as tapping into embodied wisdom, or even pure luck - so all sides are satisfied.
All in all I was well satisfied with this movie - not a classic but a good story well told.