Selma: No Publicity? No Problem.

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Selma: No Publicity? No Problem.

Zac Johnson, Entertainment Editor

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Premiering January 9th, but gaining traction over the long weekend caused by Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Selma, the film detailing the events surrounding the city of Selma, AL during the civil rights movement is bound to go on to become one of the best movies of 2015.

I entered the movie theater with reservations, hoping I wouldn’t have to sit through another historical film that lacked depth, action or memorable characters. With next to no publicity, I really didn’t know anything about the movie I was about to watch other than the basic premise. Selma ended up completely defying my presuppositions. Some critics have called it slow and in some cases historically inaccurate. The film only dragged occasionally, and expecting Fight Club when you’re watching a movie primarily centered around ‘peaceful protests’ is just unreasonable.

The actor playing Martin Luther King (MLK) successfully matches the activist’s characteristics and honestly relays the struggle of the peaceful protestor. Not to mention the actor, David Oyewolo is actually British, but does more than just make do, changing his voice to that of a Southern black preacher from 1965.

While the whole movie was extremely powerful and offered a real life look as to the pain and struggles of the time, the film was not always historically accurate. In particular, the portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson’s complete non-compliance with the civil rights leader has been called into question.

In contrast, Selma, did a fantastic job of following its characters through and taking care to show that supporting characters were indeed real people who had lasting impacts on the movement. The film also made sure to include the flaws of major characters and their relationships, such as the affairs had by MLK right in the midst of the movement.

Perhaps my favorite part of the film was the soundtrack. I’ve always enjoyed gospel and soul music, but this film went beyond that. A variety of songs and artists were chosen for the movie, including Chicago rapper Common and John Legend, with the former of the two also acting in the film. The musical diversity created a relatable energy that was relevant to those who may have had no real connection to the civil rights movement.

Selma was definitely one of the better movies I have seen that was mainly based on historical accounts. The camera work, soundtrack, and acting were all stellar, it had it’s cliches, but overall I would give the film an 8/10.