The Help Movie Review

Rachel Sloan

Based on the 2009 bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help brings you into a world unknown to many young people. Though students read about racism in textbooks and sometimes hear racist remarks, this movie takes you to the time period where it all began. Civil Rights were a booming issue in the 1960’s when this movie takes place in Jackson, Mississippi.

The Help takes you into the life of one young writer, Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone), who returns home after graduating college, without a husband. More interested in her future career, she decides to write a book from the point of view of the hired help, recalling her own fond memories with the family’s maid (Cicely Tyson) and anonymously detailing her childhood friends’ mistreatment of their maids.

This film was beautifully directed and has the most intricate time period work of any film I have seen in the last few years. The settings were detailed in 1960’s decorations down to the carpet patterns that were used. The plot line takes the audience through the pain of Skeeter trying to find a husband, and through the laughter of how the maids have secretly fought back throughout their careers. It brings the audience into the world of racism and hate against each other, and truly made me understand how so many of these people must have felt.

Though some of the details and inside jokes were lost on someone who hasn’t read the book, I felt as though I understood the story fully. It was only in the moments that half the theater busted out laughing and I sat there asking the man next to me “What just happened”? that I felt excluded from the full experience.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Help and would recommend it to anyone who is curious about the minor stories of racism in the 1960’s or who is looking for a good storyline in a movie. It is a film that ties together values and lessons from both the ’60s and the 21st century.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars