Movie Review: If Beale Street Could Talk

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Fonny and Tish in If Beale Street Could Talk image from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/can-we-trust-the-beauty-of-barry-jenkinss-if-beale-street-could-talk

The movie adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1970 novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” can only be described as the warmest love story. It strikes every emotional cord that will leave you in tears of both joy and sadness. It also captures the ‘70s environment for poor black people. The movie is set living in Memphis and captures one of the most realistic and truthful black love.

As destiny would have it, two young black people find each other and have a magical love story. One of the most iconic lines from the movie is when Fonny tells Tish, “Love brought us here.” These were tough times for black people living in America. However, not everything is rosy for the couple. Fonny has been in and out of jail countless times. This time around, he is incarcerated for a rape he didn’t commit and his girlfriend, Tish is pregnant but hopeful that he will be out before the baby is born. The young couple is also caught up in their family drama as Fonny’s mother blames her for her son’s predicament.

Throughout the movie, there is a mixture of emotions from a pregnancy announcement to tear jacking moments between the lead characters. If Beale Street Could Talk portrays the importance of family during tough times.  The duo didn’t have the perfect love story but they had real love for one another. And through it all, they’d find the good in each situation. At times, they’d even find humour in it showing the author’s dark sense of humour.

Fonny and Tish in If Beale Street Could Talk image from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/can-we-trust-the-beauty-of-barry-jenkinss-if-beale-street-could-talk

By a stroke of luck, the love story changes and Fonny is out of jail. Their passionate love makes the audience melt inside as the pair mature into devoted soulmates. Another touching relationship is between Tish and the two women in her life, her mother and sister. One of them instills the pride of being black and female while the other showers her with motherly tenderness. However, their bond is unbreakable throughout.

The leading actors bring the book to life with their undeniable on-screen romance and a captivating performance. As always, Regina King delivered an outstanding performance that won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Often times, the movie adaptation of a book as iconic as “If Beale Street Could Talk” doesn’t live up to expectation. However, with the excellent directorship of Barry Jenkins, the move did a lot of justice to Baldwin’s book. He ensured to capture the author’s essence thus making the audience feel his presence. By having the actors look into the camera, the audience got a feel like they were a part of the romance.

If Beale Street Could Talk carries with it the reality of being a black person back then which many people can still relate to in the present day. Black men were wrongfully imprisoned leaving their young families in desperation. However, it also shows what resilience and determination can achieve.

It’s rated R on IMDb since it contains strong language and partial nudity. Therefore, it’s highly restricted to adults only. Apart from that, it has received nearly perfect reviews making a must-watch during movie night with bae. Grab yourself some popcorns and tissues and enjoy the show.

Check out the trailer.

Check out Movie Review: Nappily Ever After

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