Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Help

the Book
The Help
Written by Kathryn Stockett in 2009
Rating: ★★★★★ Couldn't put it down!

What it's about:  

Aibileen and Minny face enough difficulties being two black maids in the 1960's, let alone living in severely racist Jackson, Mississippi.  Their pay is sub-par, their work is menial, and as the Help, they are expendable.  Every day, in order to keep their jobs, they put up with intolerant behavior.  Until one day, Skeeter, a white woman and friend of their rotten employers, asks them to do the unspeakable:  share their stories about what their job is really like for a book she is writing.  Not only is Skeeter asking the maids to divulge the good but also the ugly, a risky pursuit for everyone involved.  On one hand, they view this as an opportunity to bring their experiences into light and perhaps spark a much-needed change; on the other hand, if they are found out, there could be severe consequences.  In a time when they stand to lose much more than their jobs, including their homes, their well-being, and even their lives, they must challenge their fear in order to break the silence, to finally be heard.

Why we like it: 

Kathryn Stockett's work is exemplary.  Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter are not three characters in a book written by the same author; they are three women, each with a story of their own to tell.  Stockett not only brings these characters to life by the first-person perspective they were written in, but also by providing a unique voice to each character.  She tactfully exposes not only the differences between the black and white communities in the 1960s, but also the misconceptions and mistrust, each race had for the other.  Although this story is delivered in a light-hearted spirit, she does not mollify the heavy issues of racism and class inequality that are key themes in the book.  
The Help (2011) (PG-13)
Directed by Tate Taylor
Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard
Rating: ★★★ Good  

Differences between the movie and book: 

The movie is a condensed version of the book.  Short, one-line sentences sum up what would otherwise occur in a whole chapter.  They kept the story intact, yet they focused a bit more on Skeeter's perspective than the maids'.   

Why we liked it:

First of all, we felt that Bryce Dallas Howard did an amazing job playing Hilly, the controlling ringleader of the white ladies that employ the Help.  In fact, the whole cast was well chosen and played their roles excellently.  The 1960's outfits, hair-dos, and props were perfect.     

With that said, even though this movie was well made, compared to the book, it falls short.  The book outshines the movie by far, leaving us a little disappointed with the movie.  The movie lacks the depth that only the book can provide.    

Overall, we insist you read the book!  As for the movie, you wouldn't be wasting your time, so go see it!

Up Next . . . Winter's Bone

1 comment:

  1. We agree with you about the book and movie! I'm glad you are writing this blog! It's so fun to read. We miss you guys!!