Family life is not always easy and the pressure on having that ” perfect, happy family” can really build. Fences really focuses on this and shows that no matter what happens, family is family.
The 2017 film has been developed into a film, after eight years on stage. The original stage cast, including Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo and Russell Hornsby all joined together to create this film, directed by August Wilson.
The film follows Troy (Denzel Washington), a proud and tough father who pushes his ideals onto his son, Cory (Jovan Adepo). His wife Rose (Viola Davis) is not as touch on Cory, and is more supportive or her son’s dreams. Troy’s attitude towards Cory at the start is very touching, but as it went along, Troy’s true opinion emerged. After being approached and recruited by a college football team, Cory was eager to follow his passion, but was stopped by his father, who believed that “it would not get him a living”. His father did not mean this as anything bad, he just didn’t want Cory to be like him, not after what playing baseball did to him.
Of course times were tough for Troy. As a black man, he was subject to prejudice and was in a job that he did not enjoy – just so he could feed the family and provide a roof over their heads. As a working father, money was also very tight and he could not indulge in the expensive things in life. These are problems that you may recognise in your family. Troy also had numerous responsibilities at home, one of which was looking after his brother, who suffered brain damage while serving in WW2. Gabe was troubled and would drop in on the family, normally in his own repetitive world. It was grating down on Troy and he did not know how to handle him.
His son, Cory thought that his father, Troy hated him and didn’t want him to succeed in life. This was untrue. Troy wanted Cory to be the best that he could be and the tough parenting seemed to succeed. Or did it? Cory become a corporal in the Marines and made a very good soldier. Was this really what he wanted to do? Did his father’s tough love help him succeed?
All of this drama also rested on Rose’s shoulders. She was with Troy for 18 years, in the same place and house with him. She was supporting him and loving him with all her heart. The stress and worry impacted on Rose and sometimes she found herself lost.
One of these stresses included a new addition to the family – a baby girl, daughter of the women that he had been sleeping with behind Rose’s back. It was a shock to Rose and a big disappointment. It was a shame that the women he was sleeping with died during her pregnancy and Rose agreed to raise her daughter as her own.
Unfortunately Troy died after falling in their yard and it was extremely emotional. Troy was not able to see his son stand proud and tall in his Marines uniform. And despite his “loud” views, the family still wanted to live up to his legacy and raise their new daughter the way that they raised Cory. Cory also had a “little moment” when he was reminded his father, prior to attending his funeral. So he loved his dad and appreciated what he had done for him.
There are themes in this film that we can all relate to – money, stress, aspirations and dreams or tough parents. The way that the family stuck together despite all their struggles was inspiring. The film really moved me and the performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were mesmerizing, no wonder Viola won Best Supporting Actress at the BAFTAs this year!
Amazing film that gives us an insight into the struggles of family life and I would definitely recommend that you take some time out of your busy schedules to see it. Fences is available to see in all good cinemas now!
Any comments are welcome!
Bye for now.