Benz Eye View: Free State of Jones

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  To celebrate this commemorative holiday, I am going to review a film for today that relates this special day.

Independence-Day-2-poster
This one?

No.  One: I already reviewed it.  Two: that movie sucks.  I meant this:

Free_State_of_Jones_poster
Free State of Jones

Pros:

1.) The main character, Newton Knight is very interesting.  A Confederate soldier that deserted his army, and eventually creates a free state is fascinating.  It is something that I never heard of, and it is relieving to hear that it is actually true.

2.) All the actors give out fantastic performances.  From Matthew McConaughey to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, they know how to perform certain moments from being friendly to crying in simple moments.

3.) The film shows the struggles of the Free State of Jones well.  From dealing with the Confederate soldiers to Southern racists, it shows how hard to keep the Free State in check despite the Union victory in the American Civil War…

 

Cons:

1.) …However, this is a LONG film, and it feels pretty slow.  If you are expecting this film to be all battles during the Civil War (which the intro showed really well), you are out of luck here.

2.) This is arguably a long History Channel episode that should not have been in theaters.  Throughout the film, it constantly shows text or historical pictures on certain moments that happened off-screen.  It can be bothering for many people, and it feels like we should watch the History Channel instead.

3.) Here is something odd: there is a subplot that takes place eighty-five years after the events of Free State of Jones with the descendant of Newton Knight going on trial, because he is 1/8 black man marrying a white woman.  It is out of nowhere, and it comes up four times in the film’s two hour running time.

 

Overall:

Another film based on slavery.  There has been so many of these films lately that is ends up being a bit tiresome.  However, if they want to keep doing this, it has to be good.  For me, I really like this film.  I thought it has interesting historical value, intriguing people, and great moments despite its slow pace.  However, I seem to be in the minority, because the reviews show that many people do not like this film.  It was like the time I really liked In the Heart of the Sea while most people did not.

In_the_Heart_of_the_Sea_poster
Yes.  I actually like this film.  

We cannot seem to get along.  I was going to give it a 9/10, but since I saw the reviews a bit early before posting this (good thing, too), I will give it this score:

8/10

It is my opinion, and even though the negative reviews give some good points, I still like it anyway.

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