photo courtesy of The Weinstein Company
courtesy of The Weinstein Company
THE DRAMATIC IRONY OF FRUITVALE STATION
Ever since Black Panther Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler have been known to work together a few times. On their most recent endeavor with Marvel, their triumphant revival with the Rocky series in Creed however the two men started their journey with a small film known as Fruitvale Station.
Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film written and directed by Ryan Coogler. It is Coogler's first feature filmand is based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, a young man who was killed in 2009 by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale district station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in Oakland .The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant with Kevin Durand and Chad Michael Murray playing the two BART police officers involved in Grant's death, although their names were changed for the film. Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly and Octavia Spencer also star.
Michael B Jordan’s heartbreaking performance carries you to through film. Early scenes with his daughter and the rest of his family. To showing his struggles like the grocery store scene and the look on his face when the viewer can tell he’s just trying to get back on track shows through the oscar’s actions. Even the scene with the dog and what happens there, the film is just chalked up with powerful scenes. Some other highlights include the maginificent directing of one young Ryan Coogler, using the streets of his hometown of Oakland to tell a small and intimate story that I felt through the direction only he could tell. The dialogue was masterfully written and well used to capture things like the authenticity of the city he grew up in. Not to mention Octavia Spencer and her scene not in only in the hospital but also in the prison scene it was like every time she came on screen with the small amount she was given I as a viewer got so much from her. My last bit of praise goes to Melonie Diaz who played Oscar’s girlfriend and love interest in the film, whom I first saw on a similar type of film in A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints which starred a young Shia Labeouf and Channing Tatum. She was stunning the film keeping it grounded and made the smaller moments feel a lot more at stake with her subtly as well as Ariana Neal who played Tatiana Grant. Her relationship with her father is what puts this movie over the top for me there friendship and father-daughter dynamic adds another layer to the film that broke my heart every time she was on screen making you forget that this was a true story and that she’s still alive to this day. Especially with her final scene that just leaves you in tears knowing what happens to her father in the end.
Some films are looked back on with great reverence and I think this will be one of them the film was not only so far ahead of it’s times but tragically reflects an era in which police brutality wasn’t as prominent of an issue as it once was today. As a young black African born and american raised man I remember watching this film and thinking this could’ve been me or my older brother or even my father. With the environment I’ve grown up in and the interactions I’ve had with police a film like this should be revisited more often. I’m glad I got to re watch the film and understand it a lot better It’s one everyone should look back on. Not only for it’s story but for it’s significance it’s made now more than ever.
Written By William Christian Praise