Fences Review

Fences stars Denzel Washington playing the role of Troy Maxson and Viola Davis as Troy’s wife Rose Maxson. The newly released movie was adapted from it’s original form-- a play by August Wilson. Photo credit to fencesmovie.com

Before you start reading this article, fair warning, there will be spoilers! If you plan on going to see Fences at some point, I don’t suggest that you continue reading as it may ruin some of the surprises.

Most movies and books follow a similar outline of an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Fences definitely had a different approach to the average plot arc by having a very long rising action and saving the climax– or most of its conflict– for the very end of the movie. Although, this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, some of the greatest movies ever created were made that way. It just didn’t work for this movie considering its length (two hours and twenty minutes). However, it wasn’t boring because they managed to keep the audience interested with some pretty powerful moments, but it was a bit flat from time to time.

Previously mentioned, this movie was incredibly deep. Fences started off with a light hearted scene that was able to get everyone in the audience laughing but quickly transitioned into a thought provoking and emotional drama that left some audience members in tears and some enraged.

The movie takes place in the 1950’s and the main character, Troy, has a difficult time realizing that times have changed since he wasn’t allowed to play for the major leagues for being African American. His son Cory plays football for his high school and has received an offer from a football team to play in college but his father thinks that they won’t ever let him play because of his race. Times had changed and many people of color had become involved in the sports world since he had dreams of playing for the major leagues but it’s as if he doesn’t want this to be.

Because we live in a day and age in which people are treated much fairer than they were in the 1950’s, many members of the audience in the theatre were pretty enraged at Troy’s actions toward his son and wife. Considering that he screwed up badly, their reactions were completely justified. He ruined his son’s chance at playing football in college (or going to college at all for that matter), he cheated on his wife, refused to leave the woman he cheated on her with, and when he had a baby with the other woman, he asked his wife– whom he cheated on– if she would raise his child, and if it couldn’t get much worse he beats his son.

Obviously the main character is a pretty bad guy, and the audience hates him for what he did to his family. But then within the last five minutes of the movie, they tried to convince the audience that he was actually a good guy. It was pretty pointless considering the fact that the audience knows Troy is a bad guy and there wasn’t any chance the characters could persuade the audience. But he didn’t do the best he could, he made a choice. He accepted he was a bad person and actually fed the evil inside of him.

Around 95% of the movie takes place in this family’s backyard; it had a really interesting impact on the meaning of the word “fences”. In the very beginning of the movie one of Troy’s best friends says “Some people build fences to keep people out… and other people build fences to keep people in.” Troy often “talks” to the devil and tells him to stay on the outside of his fence and that if he wants to play, he can knock on the front door. However, as the movie continued on, the fence he’s building around his backyard went from originally being meant to keep the devil out, later evolved to keep him in because he grew to become the devil.

This movie was pretty intense and definitely worth seeing eventually. If you’re hanging out with friends and you want to go see a movie, I wouldn’t recommend this one for you because it isn’t upbeat or action packed. It’s more of a movie you might watch on your own late at night or with your family.

Most movie endings aren’t exactly the greatest but the way this movie ended was really well done. Honestly, the ending was probably the best part of the whole movie.

I have to say that I was impressed by the powerfulness of this movie. The person sitting next to me was crying, and everyone around me had something to say afterwards about Troy and his actions. Aside from being slightly flat on occasion, this movie was really good and carried a strong message.


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