42 the Movie

Brian Helgeland + 42
Monday, September 26 th, 2016 at 00:09 am Dr. Joy Browne
Director (s):
Brian Helgeland
Starring:
Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie
Genre:
Biography
Theme:
Sport, Drama

42, if you’re from a galaxy far far away, is the number of Jackie Robinson, who was the trailblazer from the Brooklyn Dodgers, who was hired by Branch Rickey in 1947. Branch Rickey is played by Harrison Ford who is just terrific in this. Being a character actor with a bit of a tummy and a bad toupee is really wonderful. He says he’s hiring a negroe to get the negro ticket holders to come to the game, and it turns out later in the movie that he gives a slightly more emotionally resonating reason for it. Jackie Robinson is played by Chadwick Boseman, from The Express, who is probably better looking than Jackie Robinson was and equally charismatic. The movie is a bit too long, 2 hours and 8 minutes, and a large part of that is taken up with a love story that you actually don’t care too much about, or at least I didn’t, but it’s a really rousing story. It’s an upsetting story on some level because it reminds you of just how really viciously racist this country was, and it was only 65 years ago. A very popular NY actor, Alan Tudyk, plays the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies who is just appauling in his bigotry and harassing of Jackie Robinson. You’re going to find out some things you didn’t know, like that the number 42 was the only number ever retired by every team in all of baseball and in the spring, everyone in Major League Basbeball wears the number 42 in commemoration of Jackie Robinson. The thing that occurs to me is why if they were going to try and integrate baseball following WWII, which was certainly the impotest, why did they only get one guy, why didn’t they get three guys? There were a lot of players in the Negro league that were very talented, and they come up in the next couple of years, but why have one man as a lightning rod instead of several and might that not have dispersed some of the anger and frustration? They certainly picked a guy that truly could be a hero in Jackie Robinson. He was dignified, he was a great ballplayer, and he made the world safe, or relatively safe as this movie will point out, for men of color in baseball. But my goodness, why focus all the tuperation on him? I think you’ll like the movie, you’ll love Harrison Ford in it, you won’t care much about the love story but you’ll love the baseball! Four Stars.

Joy Meter