Hidden Figures is a brilliant film.
There are two main narrative thrusts in the film. The first is about America’s determination to beat the Russians in the space race. The second is about the ridiculous, cruel and downright inappropriate racial segregation of the time period. The former story does a good job of providing the characters with a goal and a motivation. The latter storyline does an even better job at providing them with a source of opposition.
The film is at its best when it focuses on this segregation. This is where the message of the film lies. It shows us how unfair, nasty and disgusting racism is and it suggests equality for everyone. It’s not all serious though, there are moments where this is played for laughs too. Slightly inappropriate laughs though. The same can be said for the film as a whole. There are moments of great comedy in it, that really helps it be something more than a history lesson.
There are a few side stories too. From one character falling in love, to another having to go to court in order to get into a school to learn her craft. These stories help flesh out the characters, but they fail to be anywhere near as interesting as the main narratives.
The acting in the film is great. I would go as far to say that lead actress, Taraji P. Henson pulls off an oscar worthy performance. She does a good job of portraying her character as a working mum and a highly intelligent, independent and important person. There’s one scene in particular where she unleashes her emotions regarding the segregation which encapsulates just how good an actress she is. The result of her performance is that of an impressive role model, not only for women, but for minority’s and anyone who feels incapable of success, or who hasn’t yet had a big break.
The film is filled with many other stars and names but outside of the three leads, many of them are surface level characters that lack background detail and information.
Hidden Figures is a must watch. It’s not only educational, it’s funny and it’s a great ‘feel good’ film. The only little issues with it are the secondary characters and storylines which both lack interest and the fact that the ultimate outcome is very predictable, because it’s based on a well known historical event.