film review

Review | The Help – 2011

The Help is about a young writer, Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) who decides to write a book which centers around the African-American maids during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. These maids tell her their point of view on the white families for which they work and everything they have to go through on a daily basis. The story is based on the novel written by Kathryn Stockett.

The film starts where Skeeter finds a new job as a column writer about household cleaning tips. When she asks one of her friends maids Aibileen (Viola Davis) for help, she gets the idea of writing about African-American maids who takes care of white babies. At first Aibileen is not willing to tell her stories as a housemaid but it won’t take long before she and other maids join her. The film shows us the difference between white and coloured people but also the dramas between the white women and how they all treat their housemaids differently.The Help

Mainly, we see four white women treating their housemaids differently. Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the meanest girl of them all. She is bossy and tells all her friends how they must do things regarding their maids and they also listen to her, especially Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O’Reilly). Skeeter and her family always had a maid who they all loved. But because of what other white women said, she got fired.  Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain) is a girl who treats her housemaid in a way her housemaid even don’t appreciate, in the beginning at least. Celia does all the things a white women shouldn’t do to a coloured women. She’s kind, respects her, dines at the same table and is willing to learn from her maid. This maid Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is one amazing women with a big mouth and a big heart but also funny at times. “Eat. My. Shit!”

It’s nice to see these differences, not everyone is the same and treats their housemaids as unworthy people. I still can not believe how we white people were only fifty years ago! But I think the way white people act around coloured people, should still be improved.  One thing what occurred more than once, was the separate toilets. The housemaids should have their own and preferably outside the house! One thing which made me sad was when someone got killed. The bus stopped and the driver told the coloured people to step out so he could drive the white people all back home. This really made me so mad, I mean seriously?!  The child of Mrs Leefolt May Mobley, almost broke my heart when she said to Aibileen: “You my real mama, Aibi.” Yep, that’s what you get when you don’t take good care of your child and let others do the job!

the help skeeter, minny, aibileen

The acting of everyone was brilliant! Loved Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer the most! Also their interaction together. Alisson Janney  and Sissy Spacek, respectively as the mothers of Skeeter and Holly Hilbrook, also did an amazing performance! They were both funny and were also kind to their coloured housemaids, influenceable though. I think everyone should see this film, just to see how you should not behave! Let’s be nice to each other and not be rude to others just because of their skin colour!

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – Aibileen


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