Fences

Reviewed
Sat. 3/18/17
Fences
2.9166666666667
Acting
4
4/5
Morality
4.5
4.5/5
Music
2
2/5
Story
2.5
2.5/5
Visuals
2
2/5
Kernel Factor
2.5
2.5/5
Denzel's monologue will leave you amazed, until it doesn't
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
DVD or Streaming >27in
Viewing Crew:
Myself
Times Watched:
1
Genre:
Drama
Payment Method:
Rental/Redbox
Review:

Denzel Washington is creepily good at acting (nominated for Best Actor). He's so good and everyone knows it. It's like the idea for this film was, "hey, there's a good play out there that allows for a central character to really dominate the entire story. I think Denzel could do that really well if we adapted it for the big screen. In fact, let's have Denzel direct it and he can be the main character who talks for like 90% of the movie." But this film shows that even one of the greatest actors of all time needs to share the screen. I didn't know this principle that's usually applied to sports (negatively, "ball hog") could also apply to movies ("screen hog"). Now, Viola was this year's Winner for Best Supporting Actress (which I believe she deserves), but you could see her winning that from a few perspectives: She's literally an incredible actress, Denzel is on the screen so much that if anyone else talks it's like "thank God!", Denzel is so ridiculously good at his lines that everyone elevated their game. But really we're pretty much just watching Denzel go to work and Viola trying to calm him down. Great conversations can be had from this film, if you'll allow space for it.

Acting
The acting is really incredible when you think of how well the characters present their lines. However, it feels like a Denzel monologue throughout. Still, it's obvious this was a playwright, and I don't think it deserved a movie makeover.
Morality
Caution with all the cussing. This movie will make you think about marriage, work, friendship and parenting in ways that I believe are very necessary. Racial tension also brings up ways of discussing race from the minority perspective. So many good lines in this film. Faith in this film is fascinating! It's worth another watch to analyze that aspect.
Music
Because Denzel was talking so much there really wasn't any time to fit in music. When it was put in, it was pretty dull and not memorable.
Story
The story is good, but it's also frustrating and feels like a play made into a movie. There are good conversations to be had for sure, but you have to be willing to let the film have an affect on you, otherwise it will feel slow and sort of meaningless.
Visuals
This is the worst part of the film. It takes place in essentially one setting and it makes the film very one-dimensional. The blocking is good, but other than that I was hoping for something more here.
Kernel Factor
I watched this film alone and this affected my rating. That being said, this film doesn't wrap it all in a bow yet I can't express how much it feels like I'm watching a play. It felt overly acted, too simple, and plot-holely because of the playwright style.

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