It has been said that not only was baseball a metaphor for life but also an image of America represented by the game. In the film, 42 The True Story of an American Legend,Â looks at the integration of baseball during the time the country was changing after World War II. African-Americans in who fought for our country would return to the USA too segregation and racism.
Jackie Robinson (Played by Chadwick Boseman) was not the best player at the time when he was with Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Baseball League but Branch Rickey saw a ball player from Pasadena, CA who had graduated the University of California, Los Angeles as the man who had what it took to handle the backlash that would come from an African-American baseball player in an all white game.
The film takes a look at the time of Robinsonâ€™s life from 1945 when he was brought to the Brooklyn Dodgers organization by Rickey (Played by Harrison Ford) to the year he stepped foot at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY in 1947. The year in which Robinson won the Rookie of the Year award which would later be named after in his honor.
The film is written and directed beautifully by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland who won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for â€œL.A. Confidential.â€ He chose the perfect timeframe to show the changing of the game but also the country. He made a film that is about a man, and the racism of the time and baseball as the setting that would attract a wide audience from sports fans to people who may have never seen a game in the life. It also is a good look for a younger generation that may not know much about Robinson and the time.
Boseman plays a strong and impressive performance as the baseball great. Showing on screen the weight and pressure that was placed on him to turn the other cheek and to not fight back. Boseman give such heart and strength to the role that has not been seen in many sport films. Nicole Beharie portrays Rachel Robison the spouse of Jackie Robison with such strength and durability to show the stability that she was to Jackie. She was the rock that helped him during the difficult times he would have faced to fight against the racism to continue to play his game.
Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey the Brooklyn Dodgers owner, gave a performance that not only gives you a look at the business man but also the heart of a man that had the will too give this man the opportunity to play the game. Ford supports this movie so well and a long with Boseman delivers in every level.
Overall, the film is a great look at a point in this country that would change not only the game of baseball but sports and this country. Though we have moved forward still many of the lines in the film will remind you of the words said just recently by elected politicians in Washington D.C. and some Americans with the issue we face today. This is a necessity see for the young and old on the big screen in a movie theater. A completely different look from last film released about Robinson, Â “The Jackie Robinson Story” of 1950 in which Robinson played himself.
42 The True Story of an American Legend – A