“Green Book” – Movie Reviews

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“Green Book” is a 2018 comedy-drama film directed by Peter Farrelly and starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. The film is based on the true story of African-American classical pianist Don Shirley and his Italian-American driver Tony Vallelonga, who embark on a tour of the American South in the 1960s.

Mortensen plays Tony Vallelonga, a bouncer from the Bronx who is hired to drive Don Shirley (Ali) to his various performances throughout the South. The two men have vastly different backgrounds and personalities, with Tony being a tough-talking, street-smart Italian-American and Don being a refined and cultured musician who struggles to fit in with the African-American community.

The film tackles issues of racism and discrimination head-on, with Tony initially holding racist attitudes towards African-Americans and Don facing prejudice from both whites and blacks due to his race and class. The film also explores themes of friendship, family, and identity, as the two men bond over their shared experiences and differences.

The performances from Mortensen and Ali are outstanding, with both actors delivering nuanced and complex portrayals of their characters. Mortensen’s Tony is both tough and vulnerable, and his transformation from a racist to a more enlightened person is believable and well-developed. Ali’s Don is elegant and dignified, but also reveals a vulnerability and loneliness beneath his polished exterior.

The film’s screenplay is well-written, with plenty of humor and heartwarming moments that balance out the more serious themes of the story. The film’s pacing is also excellent, with a well-crafted narrative that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.

One of the strengths of “Green Book” is its depiction of the South in the 1960s, which is both accurate and atmospheric. The film captures the tensions and dangers of the era, as well as the beauty and culture of the region.

However, the film has been criticized for oversimplifying the issues of racism and discrimination, and for perpetuating the “white savior” narrative. The film has also been criticized for its portrayal of Don Shirley, with some viewers and critics arguing that the character was reduced to a stereotype and that the story focused too much on Tony’s perspective.

Despite these criticisms, “Green Book” is an enjoyable and well-made film that is sure to entertain and move audiences. The film’s strong performances, well-crafted narrative, and beautiful cinematography make it a worthy addition to the canon of films that explore issues of race and identity in America.

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