Country: United States
Category: Upcoming Drama/Thriller p>
Release Date: October 5, 2018 (USA)
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Produced by: George Tillman Jr., Robert Teitel, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
Production company: 20th Century Fox, Temple Hill Productions, State Street Pictures
Coming-of-age stories follow certain beats. There’s the walk through school, meeting some eyes and not others, often with a monologue in voice-over introducing us to this young person’s world. There’s an inspirational figure, sometimes two; this person, while flawed, challenges and cherishes the protagonist. There’s often a brief glimpse of childhood, some formative moment—we see the even-younger hero as they meet a future boyfriend, or declare what they’ll be when they grow up, or watch as their parents fight and one drives away for good. There are dances and dust-ups and, ultimately, lessons learned. There is warmth and there is triumph. The Hate U Give, adapted by Audrey Wells from Angie Thomas’ bestselling young-adult novel and directed by George Tillman Jr., hits all these beats, but it is far from ordinary or expected. Starr Carter moves through a coming-of-age story, but her high school saga is violently disrupted by another kind of narrative. The comfortable nature of the first makes plain the unspeakable horror of the second; the trauma of the second makes the warmth, and especially the triumph, all the sweeter.
Angie Thomas’s novel The Hate U Give, about a teenage girl named Starr who sees her childhood friend shot and killed by police in front of her, was an instant hit when it came out in February 2017, debuting at the top of the New York Times young adult best-seller list and staying there for 50 weeks. Thomas’s novel is based on a short story she wrote following the 2009 police shooting of Oscar Grant. Narrated by Starr, it captures a whole range of concerns and events that have animated the Black Lives Matter movement as well as broader American conversations about race: police shootings of young, unarmed black men, double consciousness and code-switching, “colorblind” white people, an asymmetrical justice system, gang violence, and a lot more. Rating But while art that ably functions as a primer to important social matters can often fall flat in its storytelling, The Hate U Give is as moving, funny, and riveting as its narrator, Starr — and the new movie based on the novel succeeds at least as much as, if not better than, its source material..
You know how disappointing it is when a movie just doesn’t do a book justice? Fortunately, that isn’t the case here — far from it. In fact, The Hate U Give takes Angie Thomas‘ powerful novel and transforms it into a coming-of-age story that’s impossibly more heart wrenching to watch on screen than it is to read. So bring tissues when you see it because Starr Carter’s story is an intensely emotional one. Played by Amandla Stenberg, 19, the high school student has been bouncing back and forth between two versions of herself — the Starr she is at home in Garden Heights, and the Starr 2.0 she becomes at her predominantly white school — when everything she thinks about race is rocked by the shooting of a childhood friend by a white cop.