The film “42” pays homage to Jackie Robinson
The film set the record for the most earnings from a baseball movie at $27.3 million.
By Paul Picado-Curtis
The film “42” was released three weeks ago and set a record for the most earnings from a baseball movie at $27.3 million during the opening weekend at the box office.
“42” takes a snapshot of Jackie Robinson’s life and delves into his struggles of becoming the first African American baseball player in the Major League. Though “42” is not a complete biography, the film focuses on very important times and obstacles in Robinson’s life.
The movie starts in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ front office where team executive Branch Rickey introduced the idea into the baseball industry of breaking the color barrier. Rickey focuseds on the talent that Robinson displays on the field.
After officially signing a contract with the Dodgers, Robinson’s real struggles begin. With only his wife, family and Rickey behind him in this endeavor he then needed to prove his talent to his teammates, fans and even himself. Immediately his teammates, coaches and fans begin firing threats at him.
The movie shows the stacks of life-threatening letters, and the “N” word is used in abundance. All these tactics are used against Robinson to break him, but Robinson stands strong and begins to speak through his play instead of retaliating.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Pee Wee Reese (a white teammate of Robinson) receives a death threat from someone in his hometown. Rickey shows him the drawers full of handwritten threats towards Robinson. This was a key part in the movie where the camaraderie shows among Robinson and his teammates.
This gives hope to Robinson and his teammates to push for the pennant (league or division title).
“42” is a powerful movie that deeply shows the racism and hate experienced by Jackie Robinson and his family.
Most reviews for “42” were positive.
“[“42” is a] Highly inspirational movie that will have you in tears one moment and laughing in the next. I never thought I could watch baseball for two hours,” freshman Jonathan Ferrari said.
I also went and watched “42” the day it came out in theatres, and I felt like it had a powerful message behind it while accurately portraying injustices.
Some viewers didn’t share the same positive feelings.
“I don’t think I’m making a grand leap in saying that some of the more graphic material was Disney’d up, in order to make “42” a movie for the whole family,” Markus Robinson said on RottenTomatoes.com.
He brings up a good point; with every movie being produced, the main goal is to make as much money as possible. Creating a movie that caters to families vastly adds to the demand for the movie and also generates a greater revenue.
Freshman Chloe Spilotro had a very similar review.
“ “42” was a great movie, however I feel it didn’t say anything new about Jackie Robinson or his life journey” she said. “If anything, it made it look easier for him than it was.”
Both the critical views of the movie focused on the fact that the producers should have made it more realistic. Though there are pros and cons to “42”, it is a must-see and a great historical reference to the struggles that Jackie Robinson faced.