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Why You Should Watch The Jackie Robinson Biopic “42”

The World Series is fast approaching, and baseball fans are going gaga with excitement over which team will become this season’s world champions.

Fans are flocking to the stadiums to see how their teams will fare against the competitors. With a baseball radar gun in hand, evaluators are waiting to see if world records can be broken at every game. Sports commentators and analysts are debating to see which teams face each other in the world series. While the Giants and Dodgers are leading in the National League, the Cardinals enter this week with an eight-game winning streak.

At this point, everything’s still up in the air, and both the American and National Leagues are seeing considerably great club performances despite the ongoing pandemic. There’s just no stopping baseball. It has been ingrained in our culture and history as Americans and has produced some truly notable personalities that changed the way games are played and the entire landscape. These personalities have inspired authors and producers to come up with different adaptations to get their life messages across.

42: A Period Film that’s Still Relevant to this Day

One such person is Jackie Robinson in the 2013 Brian Helgeland-helmed biopic 42. The movie, although seemingly low-profile considering it has Harrison Ford and the late Chadwick Boseman as its frontrunners, is a brilliantly made film based on Robinson’s challenges and heroism.

Set in the 1940s, when racial ignorance and bigotry were mounting, the film explores the life of a young Jackie Robinson while he was still a rookie playing for the Dodgers. Helgeland, known for his work on Mystic River and L.A. Confidential, masterfully weaved a beautiful and poignant film with a healthy balance of drama and humor and great characterization and pacing. Although the film is a bit short by modern standards, the movie is praised by critics and casual moviegoers alike.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, here are some very valid reasons for you to see it:

The reviews are great

5 stars

42 is the type of movie almost everyone can love and relate to. Non-sports fans loved it. It’s a family movie but is not preachy nor sappy. It’s a biopic that doesn’t just tell the main character’s story but draws the audience to Robinson’s world. It received plenty of nominations and commendations in the industry and lots of good write-ups and reviews. If you’re a baseball fan, this is a must-see movie for you.

It has great historical and social value

As the first colored player in a league filled with white men, Robinson broke the mold and paved the way for fellow people of color to participate in professional sports leagues and be treated as equals. His entrance into the league had changed an entire nation’s perspective and prejudices at a time when racial inequality and segregation were the norms. The movie did not shun from taking on the unpleasant and sensitive topics of bigotry and discrimination and showed us how ugly and disgusting society was at the time.

Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman

While the entire cast gave out stellar performances, clearly Ford and Boseman stole the show. Even if they take on different roles, you can never go wrong with Han Solo and the Black Panther. Both thespians gave very convincing and genuine performances. Harrison Ford, who plays the forward-thinking Dodgers boss Branch Rickey, earned praise for his portrayal of the man who told Robinson not to fight back regardless of the abuse thrown his way.

Boseman, as the lead character Jackie Robinson held his own ground against veteran and more experienced actors at the time. His performance was so good in this movie that he received several nominations for his work on the film.

It is inspiring

Having an idea of how cruel society was back then, we can learn a lot from how Robinson handled himself amid the abuse thrown at him. From racial slurs to death threats, the film gave us a clear picture of both his external challenges and internal struggles. Helgeland made sure that every aspect of hardship was covered and believably portrayed to magnify Robinson’s character — his grace, determination, grit, and heroism.

These traits shine brightly in every scene that you can’t help but admire Robinson for the man he was.

42 is a sincere and genuine offering from the filmmakers, the cast, the producers, and the entire crew to a world where its message of heroism is badly needed. If you haven’t watched it yet, we highly recommend you do, whether you’re a sports fan or not.


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