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Green Book 2018 Film Review

The 2018 film Green Book directed by Peter Farrelly is a compelling drama that explores the complexities of racial discrimination and prejudice in America during the 1960s. The film’s title refers to a guidebook for African-American travellers, which provided information on safe places to eat and sleep during a time when segregation was prevalent in the United States.

The film follows an Italian-American bouncer, Tony Lip, who is hired to drive and protect a prominent African-American pianist, Dr. Don Shirley, during his concert tour in the Deep South. Through their journey together, the film challenges our perceptions of racism and discrimination, highlighting the power of empathy, compassion, and friendship in overcoming deep-seated prejudices.

The Green Book is a 2018 film directed by Peter Farrelly, which tells the story of a working-class Italian-American bouncer who becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. The film was awarded three Oscars in 2019 for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali’s portrayal of Don Shirley.

This critically acclaimed film is not only an entertaining and well-crafted piece of cinema but also a cultural and historical landmark that sheds light on issues of race, identity, and the struggle for civil rights in the United States. In this article, we will delve into the artistic, historical, and social aspects of The Green Book and explain why this film is a masterpiece that deserves a top spot on any film lover’s must-watch list.

The Green Book: A Story of Friendship and Resistance

At its core, The Green Book is a story of friendship and resistance that subverts the conventional Hollywood formula of a buddy movie. The film portrays the unlikely bond between Tony Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen, and Don Shirley, played by Mahershala Ali, who come from vastly different backgrounds and worldviews but learn to understand and respect each other as human beings.

The film also addresses issues of racism, segregation, and discrimination that were pervasive in the United States in the 1960s, particularly in the South. Don Shirley, a talented pianist, faces constant prejudice and harassment as he performs in venues where African-Americans are not welcome, and Tony Vallelonga, a tough bouncer, must confront his own prejudices and biases as he becomes Don’s driver and protector.

The Green Book: A Cinematic Achievement

Apart from its social and historical significance, The Green Book is also a remarkable cinematic achievement that showcases the talents of its cast and crew. Peter Farrelly, known for his comedy films, delivers a nuanced and poignant portrayal of a complex story, while the screenplay by Farrelly, Brian Currie, and Nick Vallelonga (Tony Vallelonga’s son) strikes a balance between humour and drama, never resorting to cheap sentimentality.

The performances by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are also noteworthy, as they both bring depth and subtlety to their characters. Mortensen’s Tony Vallelonga is a lovable rogue with a heart of gold, whose journey of self-discovery and redemption is both touching and inspiring, while Ali’s Don Shirley is a proud and enigmatic figure whose struggle for dignity and respect resonates with viewers.

However, some critics have also pointed out the film’s shortcomings, such as its oversimplification of complex issues of race and the fact that it tells a story of African-American oppression through the lens of a white character. While these criticisms are valid, they do not detract from the film’s artistic and historical value and the fact that it is a powerful and moving work of cinema.

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