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Hammerle on... 'A United Kingdom,' 'Get Out'

Robert Hammerle
March 8, 2017
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bob hammerle movie reviews“A United Kingdom”

With this movie, David Oyelowo gives another fantastic performance in a film based on a true story. With his heartwarming performances in last year’s “Queen of Katwe” and the earlier “Selma” (2014), Oyelowo hits a cinematic triple crown with his captivating performance in “A United Kingdom.”

hammerle-uk-rating.gifHere, he plays Seretse Khama, a king-in-waiting in Botswana who has been studying in England. The year is 1947, and his life becomes incredibly complicated when he marries Ruth Williams, a white working-class English woman. Rosamund Pike matches Oyelowo’s performance in her role as Ruth, and it makes you forget her tormented role as the wretched wife in “Gone Girl” (2014).

Our interracial couple is jeered and condemned in England, and Ruth’s father swears that he will never talk to her again. Ironically, when they fly to Africa so that Seretse can assume the throne, important people in his country have no use for a ruler married to a white woman.

At its core, this is a moving love story about a couple who will assume all risks given their dedication to each other. Their unashamed joy in each other’s arms will bring a smile to your face and an occasional tear to your eye. This is an inspirational movie on multiple levels.

This story captures the racism permeating Britain at the end of World War II. The government in South Africa was just gaining a firm foothold, resulting in apartheid spreading into neighboring countries like Botswana. In other words, if a European government wanted to maintain colonial control in African countries that contained enormous mineral deposits, then accepting apartheid seemed like a small price to pay.

The governmental leaders in Britain from Winston Churchill on down appear disgustingly shameful. For example, they had no problem with luring Seretse to London where he was banned from returning to his homeland by an order signed by Churchill himself. Forcing Seretse to live on a different continent from his wife and small daughter who were left behind in Africa didn’t seem to remotely bother a single British official.

As in “Queen of Katwe,” the end of this film allows you to see pictures of our hero and heroine as they appeared in real life. In addition, it is also worth remembering that Oyelowo, a British citizen, is married to a white actress, Jessica, who also appeared in this film. They have been married for 18 years and have four children.

Oyelowo is an actor who deserves recognition on the national stage.

“Get Out”

With “Get Out,” Jordan Peele has made his directorial debut in a nasty little movie that combines horror and racism. Known as one-half of the comedy team Key and Peele, he clearly appears comfortable in the director’s chair.

hammerle-getout-rating.gifThe movie tells the story of Chris, a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) who accepts his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) invitation to visit her wealthy parents living on an isolated country estate. He regrettably swallows his concerns when she tells him that her parents do not know that she is dating a black man. Right then and there you know trouble is waiting around the corner.

Her parents, played with chilling detachment by Bradley Whitford and the great Catherine Keener, seem quite outgoing at first. Dad tells Chris that he would have voted for Obama if he had been allowed to run for a third term, while mom offers to hypnotize him to help him quit smoking.

Things start to get dark quite quickly. Employed by the parents are two extraordinarily odd-acting black servants (played in chilling fashion by Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson), and their actions are borderline freakish. It becomes increasingly clear that black visitors to this stately mansion face a transformation with ghastly consequences.

Last year, Key and Peele appeared in the raucous dark comedy “Keanu,” where they had to impersonate gangland killers as they tried to get back a stolen cat. The humor of the film flowed from the fact that both were completely clueless on how to function on the streets. It was as if they were two white guys from a southern Indiana town performing in a remake of “Straight Outta Compton.”

Though this film morphs into a great horror movie, Peele doesn’t forget the need to add a few comic touches. Here, Lil Rel Howery plays Rob, a hysterical TSA agent who questions his friend’s sanity and judgment. You frequently laugh out loud while descending into a state of fear.

Whether you like horror movies or not, this movie delivers a racist theme that can’t be overlooked. It’s as if a segment of our white society considers the goal of diversity to be found in surgically helping black Americans act white. Interested?•

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Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis at Pence Hensel LLC as of counsel. When he is not in the courtroom or the office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters. To read more of his reviews, visit www.bigmouthbobs.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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