The Hate U Give – Movie Review

T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E: The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone – Tupac Shakur

When I asked my oldest friend what movie her dad was working on—he is a production designer—she told me he was working on a movie adaptation of a YA novel. That instantly peaked my interest. She says he’s off to Atlanta to shoot The Hate U Give, I jumped in my seat and almost knocked over my drink.

Just about everyone in the YA book community is pumped about the release of The Hate U Give in theaters. It opened in limited release October 5th and in theaters everywhere today, October 19th. The release date couldn’t come soon enough; the movie company evidently felt the same way, as they pushed up the original date.   This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. It was going to be hard to capture the essence of such an important and powerful book and bring it to screens, but there was nothing to worry about. This movie was UNREAL.

My mom said it best when she leaned over to me during the credits, “It feels like a Spike Lee movie for teens.” For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, here is the google description of the film:

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives and the wealthy, mostly white prep school that she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is soon shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer. Facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and decide to stand up for what’s right.

Amandla Stenberg has become the queen of YA adaptations after making her debut in The Hunger Games, as Rue and then movie on to star in Everything, Everything, The Darkest Minds, and now as the wise and strong Starr Carter. Stenberg took the role of Starr and shaped her into this curious girl, watching the world around her flip upside down and fall apart. She matures throughout the movie as she comes to accept the importance of her role in this injustice.

After filming had wrapped, racist videos of YouTuber Kian Lawley (originally playing Starr’s boyfriend, Chris) surfaced and the producers quickly made the decision to recast the role with K.J. Apa, famously known for playing Archie Andrews on the CW’s Riverdale. I thought he did such a great job! I felt like he had more urgency and involvement then originally in the book. On the other hand, Starr’s brother Seven, has a much smaller part in the movie. It’s understandable, as he is a major character in the book with a storyline that is constantly moving up and down. The movie zeroed in on Starr’s life and what happened to her, leaving other storylines in the trash, understandably.

This movie stayed really faithful to Angie Thomas’s beautiful story, and I think the more people who see it, tell their friends, post about it, the better.

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