Red Tails is a SICK movie!
Hello cool person reading my blog, Hope you’re smiling, if not, what you waiting for
On Tuesday this week, a selection of students from my college were selected to attend Leicester Square Odeon, to watch a pre-screening of ‘Red Tails’ (Click here for Trailer). I’m not going to elaborate on my day too much in this blog post because I have super duper news for you guys! I took my camera with me so I’ll have a video of my experience and following random events, for those who can’t be bothered to read click here for the video, including my talk with Cuba Gooding Jr. Yup, he picked me to ask a question out of a whole cinema, I was buzzing – The video is embedded in the bottom of the post. My question to Cuba Gooding Jr. was ‘What message did you get from the film and what message would you like other people to get from the film?’.
Red Tails in 3 words: Heart-Hoovering, CGI-Wickedness & Inspirational
The film was set in 1944, in WWII and tells the tale of how African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program gain redemption and overcome the strongholds of racism and discrimination. After being informed that the Tuskegee training program (A pilot program made especially for Afro-Caribbean pilots) was going to be shut down, they are granted one chance to prove their worth to thePentagon brass.
The narrative balances the seriousness of the raw subject matter with burtsts of light-hearted humour, particularly from ‘Lightning’ played by David Oyelowo amongst others who raise a snigger. Despite a few clichés, I was immediately grabbed by the storyline as the film improved as it progressed, due to the increasing amount of emotion it sought after. There are unexpected deaths, pub brawls, epic mid-air combat scenes, strained relationships, romance scenes and plenty more for you to feed your brains with.
The acting throughout the film was engaging and intense. I actually began to feel like the characters were my buddies, when they were happy, I was happy, when their hearts were broken, mine was too – even to the extent where I unashamedly had one or two tears trickling down. There are scenes were you literally forget your bottom lip is hanging, subsequent of the extravagance and passion in the dialogue of the film that captivates your eyes and heart synonymously. I personally found it gratifying to see appearances from ‘Neyo’ and ‘Trife’ from Kidulthood, formally known as Aml Ameen. More so, there were many strong performances in the film from the likes of: Terrence Howard as ‘Colonel A.J. Bullard’, Cuba Gooding Jr. As Major Emanuelle Stance & Tristan Wilds as ‘Junior’ to name a few, in addition to several more admiral displays.
The message I got from the film was bravery and fighting for what you believe in. It was remarkably inspirational and empowering to see the journey the Afro Caribbean pilots took together. I became almost envious of the tightness of the pilots; they showed insane amounts of loyalty and team work, if one of them was injured, they would almost fight to be the one who provides the aid. Furthermore, the determination and passion of Colonel A.J. Bullard was extraordinary, he showed perseverance and heart which spread down the hierarchy like a virus, what a great example of a leader he was. The Pentagon brass were stern in their outlook on the Afro-Caribbean pilots, who they perceived as unworthy, but in spite of all of this they did not lose heart but retaliated with courage and confidence. An instance of this is evident in a scene where ‘Lightning’ obliviously walks into an unwelcoming white pub and is faced with racial abuse. His first reaction wasn’t to run away, but instead he fought back regardless of the fact he was quite stupidly outnumbered, how many people do you know who would do something like that? He knew he was heavily outnumbered yet he still had it in him to fight for what he believed in, that kind of fight in a man is revitalising to see. No, this is not an excuse to go and beat up every enemy you have, amongst the absence of love, show love, the other party will be humbled.
SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO FIND OUT EXACT DETAILS OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FILM
My favourite character has to be’ Lightning’, he was a joker, a fighter, a risk-taker and very skilled at what he does best, flying planes. He is best friends with ‘Easy’ played by Nate Parker, the leader of the pilots who uses alcohol to sooth his despair. Lightning meets a local Italian lady, who he spotted whilst flying back to the camp. Even with speech as a hurdle, they swiftly fall in love (I think that is what makes the relationship so romantic and pure). It was refreshing to see people from totally different cultural background getting along so seamlessly, I believe it is a strong metaphor for real love, a love not distinguished by what is said but by what is meant.
To summarize, the film does a great job of displaying a fight for justice. It is bound to have a legacy behind it; it was exceptional to see such a vast amount of black male actors, ranging in experience levels, working together on one project. Just shows that there are people out there that have not been corrupted by the worlds focus on self interest. As Cuba Gooding Jr stated to me, the message he wanted people to get was one of empowerment and inspiration, a very just statement. Even though race was the model used for the message of the film, don’t take it literally, it represents any group in society, any community, any group of mates no matter what race you are. Work together for a shared passion, help one another, and most importantly have belief!
Written by @EtimExkluse