I'm a freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published February 9th 2017
Some of the most incredible cinematography of this year
Fences in an American drama film, directed by and starring Denzel Washington (American Gangster & Malcolm X) and written by the late August Wilson (The Piano Lesson & The Naked Proof), who adapted it from the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, which he also wrote.
Set in the 1950's, Denzel Washington stars as Troy Maxson, a man with who had a tragic upbringing and is a former criminal, turned rubbish collector. He has many embellished stories to tell his whose big dreams of being a famous baseball player were never fulfilled. Troy works with his best friend Jim Bono, played by Stephen Herderson (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close & Law & Order), who he has known for most of his adult life and lives with his lovely wife Rose, played by Viola Davis (Suicide Squad & The Help) and their son Cory, played by Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers & NCIS: Los Angeles). Cory has big dreams of his own, of being an American Football star, but his father cuts him down at every turn.
Rose and Troy - The perfect match?
Troy is a happy larrikin for much of his time, messing around with his best friend Bono out back and building his dream fence, but we soon see that Troy's life is far from perfect. His lovable brother Gabriel, played by Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump & Con Air) was left mentally impaired with a metal plate in his head from the war, wanders the streets and is frequently arrested for disturbing the peace. Troy is forever paying his bail and his estranged son, from a previous relationship, Lyons, played by Russell Hornsby (Meet the Parents & Grimm), who only seems to show up on his father's payday, sets his delicate temper off.
Troy's life is filled with many ups and downs and through his persistence and hard work, he becomes the first black truck driver, which is absolutely incredible for his time. He paves the way for others to follow in his footsteps and in many ways he is quite the hero, but in many other ways, he is a terrible father and husband, with a wandering eye, who, if he isn't careful could destroy his close to perfect relationship forever.
As someone who has worked in theatre, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, with its rich dialogue and incredible cast, who portrayed their very in depth characters so well and although this film is what some people may describe as a "talk fest". It is certainly not boring, with its use of clever camera angles and stunning cinematography, it is definitely worth seeing by all true lovers of film and the arts.
Fences is rated PG and is recommended for those 15 and over, as it contains mild themes, sexual references and course language