When The Hate U Give novel was released, my social media became a frenzy. It moved a lot of people’s hearts and minds, and caused a lot of arguments. A friend of mine read the book in two days and insisted I borrow it. I read it in four. When I heard they were making a movie also titled The Hate U Give, I squealed. And the movie was nearly as intense and moving as the book.
Synopsis (without spoilers)
The opening scene was heartbreaking and uncomfortable. It reminds viewers of what minorities have to think about that white people do not, specifically when it comes to facing the police. Starr is given “the talk” by her father about how to act when an officer is present. He then has them practice putting their hands on the dashboard.
The movie then forwards to her senior year in high school, where she must deal with dual personalities–Starr and Starr 2.0. Unfortunately, those two opposing worlds collide when she witnesses the murder of an old childhood friend by a police officer. The way everyone reacts to these events forces her to become an advocate for Khalil, her childhood friend, and put her life on the line for the sake of justice.
There are many scenes that feel all-too-real–clips from the news, protests, riots, and the pressure that the Black Lives Matter movement faces every moment. It also shows subtle racism; small comments and shifty looks people give and how people deal with that behavior.
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The reason I’m not giving this movie an A+ is because of the book.
I read The Hate U Give before seeing the movie, which means I know what’s missing. Characters lost depth, pivotal scenes were glazed over or taken out completely, and the worse offense was the changed ending. I won’t give out any spoilers, but I will say sometimes endings aren’t as happy as you want them to be. The movie adaptation fell a bit short because they veered away from what would have happened if it was a true story.
Regardless, The Hate U Give is worth seeing, not only because it is an enjoyable film, but a moving one as well. It reminds you that no matter how much we want to believe that we are an equal society, the truth is we are not…at least not yet.