By Eddy Montilla
Directed by: Peter Farrelly
Written by: Nick Vallelonga, Peter Farrelly and Brian Currie
Genre: Drama, comedy
MPAA: PG-13 (Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.)
Starring: Viggo Mortensen (as Tony Lip), Mahershala Ali (as Dr. Donald Shirley) and Linda Cardellini (as Dolores)
Running Time: 130 minutes
“A friendship like that between a black man and a white man in the midst of the crisis for racial prejudice in the United States was highly unlikely”, “The information related to Donald Shirley being isolated from both, the black community and his own family is inaccurate”. I have heard these and other unfavorable criticisms about Green Book (2018), but after watching the film, my answer to them is very simple, but irrefutable: you can cover with shadows a small well-lit area, but not the Sun. Green Book (2018) is more than a story between a black classical piano prodigy (Mahershala Ali as Dr. Donald Shirley) and an Italian-American driver (Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip) and their friendship, it is about a man’s commitment to fighting racism with the keys of his piano and another man who adhered to his cause when he witnessed his suffering. This film brings an almost perfect combination between the dramatic quality of some scenes and humor, something that was decorated with some strokes of action.
We know well Peter Farrelly and his brother for his comedies Dumb and Dumber (1994), There is something about Mary (1998) and others, but what he brought to us this time is something completely different, something that borders on greatness because with Green Book (2018), you will laugh and laugh again by only listening to Tony’s tone, not to mention his witticisms, especially when he’s writing his letters to his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini). With Green Book, you will also have a lump in your throat after seeing the way he lived despite his talent and money, seeing the times he was brutally beaten and the makeup he used to hide his bruises.
I know that any good director or writer can get to this point. What really makes this film exceptional is the little details behind those general scenes usually made for the general public (the marked contrast between Shirley’s refined style of living and Tony’s earthy language and rough modals), details only reserved for good observers. Do not let pass, for instance, the moment when the car in which they were travelling stopped near a farm. Observe how those people working there looked at Doctor Donald Shirley and his sumptuous attire, the way the stood because scenes like that one turn Green Book into a pearl.
One of the most beautiful part of this movie is the surprising concatenation of events, something that can be savored completely when Donald Shirley and Tony were talking about the classic glass of whisky over the piano of a black pianist at first and what you will find out almost at the end of the film. Things like this one prove that Green Book’s success as the best movie at the 91st Academy Awards was not haphazard, but it was a work that displays expertise, like a beautiful elderly lady in needlework. Green Book is, in short, a crocheted film.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.
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