“Fruitvale Station”

On the heels of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, I had absolutely no desire to see the movie,” Fruitvale Station”. It’s too soon! I was in a bit of a mourning state, nearly crying or shaking my head every time I would see images of Trayvon Martin and his hoodie. I was haunted. I was trying to come to grips with a justice system that failed to get a guilty verdict for the Martin family. I couldn’t possibly take continuing on this emotional roller coaster by seeing this movie especially since it’s based on the life of another slain young African-American man. I protested! Several media outlets were encouraging people to go see and support “Fruitvale Station” despite of. Help me Ronda, I’ve been summoned.

I caught the Monday night 7:45 p.m showing, tissue in hand, just in case I needed it. I anticipated the scene when Oscar gets shot by a police officer. I knew it was coming. The movie opened with a brief scene that seemed a bit chaotic, only to be revisited fully later on in the movie.

For 85 minutes, actor Michael B. Jordan, gave a stellar performance in the portrayal of the last couples hours of Oscar Julius Grant’s life. Michael made Oscar very personable and very relatable. The film showed the undeniable love that Oscar had for his family and an overwhelming desire to right his wrongs. One scene shows him desperately trying to get his job back after two weeks of misleading his family into thinking that he was still on his former employer’s payroll.

Oscar wasn’t an angel. The film suggests that he had several run-ins with the law. The prison scene with his mother, played by Academy Award winner, Octavia Spencer, was heart wrenching to say the least. Her declaration that she would stop visiting him, only angered and caused him to verbally lash out on her. He quickly grows remorseful after he sees her heading for the exit and starts repeatedly yelling that all he wants from her is a hug. “Can I get a hug? You can’t get give me a hug, mom?”

The faithful early hours of 2009 New Year’s day when Oscar and his friends were singled out by police after they got into a physical altercation with another group of young men, tensions and tempers were flaring. It could have been due to the situation at hand or the fact it was New Year’s day. While the officers on scene had Oscar in a prone position on the platform, Oscar was shot by one of them. The accused officer says that he mistakenly reached for his gun instead of his taser. I beg to argue, why did he even feel that he needed to use excessive force when Oscar was pretty much restrained?

Overall it was a good film and I hope it continues to gain recognition and accolades. I will admit, I did shed a couple of tears while watching it; No surprise there. It’s one of those movies where you don’t want it to end because of the connection you have with its protagonist. I wanted Oscar to have more screen time as much I’m sure his family and friends wanted him to have more birthdays. This movie made him more than just a slain victim; it made him human. I was going to miss the Oscar who played freeze tag with his daughter and made sure his mother’s birthday was special. I was also going to miss the Oscar who was a problem solver and a people person. I was going to miss a 22-year-old man whom I will never get to meet. Now, how sad is that?

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