Dmitri's Review of Lee Daniels' The Butler
Lee Daniels' The Butler(2013)
Top Movies of 2013 - Honorable Mention
The Butler tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a butler of the White House who served during the time of the African American Civil Rights Movement of America. The movie, therefore explored the ending of Black Segregation in America as well as the relationship between Cecil and his son Louis, who was part of the Civil Rights Movement.
In the movie, we see the gradual change of America through Cecil's eyes, where we see the various Presidents of the United States and their contribution to the change, as well as Louis's contribution to this changes. There's a great amount of American history being shown here, which if you haven't figured out by now, I totally love. I also loved the characters within the film, Cecil who believed in peace and social mobility through the white man and Louis who believed in standing up for his people, and I have to comment on the fantastic job Forest Whitaker does as Cecil and David Oyelowo does as Louis.
Cecil is disappointed in his son for what he believes is causing trouble as he's always arrested and even sees him as a criminal, going as far as to disown him. But as the movie progresses and the Civil Rights Movement starts to succeed, Cecil sees the way people regard his son, not as a criminal, but as a hero, who all the kids on the block admired and followed. This leads to a scene where Cecil reunites with Louis and joins him in a protest, having finally understood his son. The entire scene brought a tear to my eye or perhaps several and put the Butler within my top of the year.
Something I really thought was worth mentioning was the way the 3 movies fit together, which I noticed from the order I watched them in preparation for this article. 12 Years a Slave began during slavery where we witnessed injustice faced by blacks, and ended with a lack of justice, but also hope. 42 takes place 100 years later and shows that while slavery had ended, segregation still remained in the US, and told a story of breaking this segregation. Then the Butler concludes this by showing the end of segregation of blacks, and then fast-forwards to the election of Barrack Obama showing that a black man could indeed become the President. It doesn't give justice to the characters of 12 Years a Slave, but it does help to conclude the injustice faced and really makes the movie whole. As such I declare that 12 Years a Slave, 42 and The Butler be named "The Injustice Trilogy 2013". This is now a thing.