Page 7 - Film
P. 7

Unchained ), the character of Northup is no more of lynching, one of whipping and one simply of
interesting than the experiences dealt to him, nor Northup’s face as he is gripped with internal turmoil.
his fellow slaves or their masters. Northup often has Throughout the flm, McQueen uses of-centre
more to relate to with his captors than his fellow framing and long, uncomfortable shots to create
captives, and is more commonly seen interacting a stark contrast to the otherwise timeless nature of
with them than any fellow slave. And just as it feels as the flms editing. Years pass without knowledge or
though Northup is essentially a white man enslaved, recognition, but the individual days linger. At times,
then even a white indentured servant is introduced. the audience begs for the flm to move on but it
Whereas the most critically celebrated aspect of this persists.
flm is the subplot involving the favoured female slave
Patsey, played by relative unknown Lupita Nyong’o. A McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is a good flm that’s fnely
truly bleak and savage story unfolds for this character flmed and acted, but ultimately has less impact than
in the background of Northup’s own. what is intended. The flm, like its central character,
is no better than the sum of its parts, no matter how
In regards to the direction of the flm, many parts amazingly realised some of those parts are. At times,
are beautifully shot and resounding in efect. Three it’s haunting and profound, and at others it comes
highlights (in technique, not content) are a scene across as Oscar-bait.

Independent Media Inspiring Minds 7
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