Precious [Movie Review]

Precious - Gabby

Precious [Gabourey Sidibe] is an overweight illiterate teen living in Harlem in the late 1980s.  She’s pregnant for the second time with her father’s child and still living with her abusive mother, Mary [Mo’Nique].  After being kicked out of her school, for basically being too much for them to handle, she’s sent to a special needs school called Each One Teach One and put in Ms. Blue Rain’s [Paula Patton] classroom in an effort to educate herself and try to catch up with the rest of the world and help lift herself out of this situation she’s currently living.

Whenever I watch a movie like this I always ask if I can really dock points because it didn’t entertain me?  As with most of these movies it is a great film and has some top notch acting but I can’t honestly say to people that I was entertained. Is entertainment the only thing that matters when you are going to see a movie?  My response to this questions is always no, but at the same time it makes me know that 99 times out of 100 the film ends up being a movie that I like but will never buy on DVD or rewatch because I doubt I’ll ever be able to sit through the film again to feel all of these heavy serious emotions that a movie like this ends up evoking from me as a viewer.

My only problem with the film was that it felt like it was dragging me along for the ride since I was completely turned off by the characters I was seeing.  I hated the characters I needed to hate, and kept hoping for the characters that I was supposed to hope for.  If anyone watches this movie and end up cheering on the father or mother during this movie please submit yourself for psychiatric help.

Precious - Patton

After being treated to some heavy twenty or so minutes of the first act with Mary more or less treating Precious with just about the less respect than one would treat a mongrel on the road side, we are introduced to Blue Rain (which I must admit gave me a good amount of laughter from her name alone).  I found it slightly hilarious as to how perfect the camera found Ms Rain.  It seems almost that the film became visually brighter whenever Ms. Rain was in the scene and it added to the oddness of Precious’ story since throughout the film we are treated to a ton of Precious’ fantasies which are her escape.  My problem with the fantasy scenes were not plot related but more pace related.  Whenever we went into a full on fantasy it was needed for Precious (as well as us the audience) to avert out eyes and minds from what horrible things are happening to her currently and it makes perfect sense, but it just felt so odd to have them placed where they were because we’re feeling horrible for what’s being shown to us and then after we blink our eyes Precious is dancing with this attractive young man of her dreams.

The cinematography is definitely the highlight of this film (technically speaking).  From the camera being able to take in the darkness of Precious’ life and at the same time give us the promise of better things when we reach the second half of the film.  The scenes that stood out for me from a visual stand point has to be the party scene at the classroom and the first time Precious is staying with Ms. Rain and she finds out something about her personal life that made me have to laugh as I heard her talk about it.  During the party scene I couldn’t help but notice the room becomes brighter as I was questioning if this was real or not.  Eventually it was decided that Precious knew that this was more or less unreal for her and that was just special.

Precious - Monique2

I’m very curious as to what the general Tyler Perry fans think of this one because this movie is a bait’n’switch for them since Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey (who are executive-producers which was attached after the film was made) were attached to the film to help promote the movie and create awareness for it.  So this movie had no influence from either of these household names that have packed the theatres here.  It is ridiculously heavier than the regular Tyler Perry film that you’re used to and I was so happy to hear all the Perry fans in the theatre with me being in a state of shock from scene to scene to the point where they probably want to go home and start calling up numerous charities immediately and start thinking about happier things, like puppies and kitties being best of friends.

So I guess what I’m saying is to go in with the knowledge that you will need to pay attention and hate a lot of the characters when you leave.  However, because of how great the filmmaking and storytelling in the film is you will love the movie (kind of like Billy Wilder’s 1950’s classic Sunset Blvd.).

Precious - Poster

IMDb says 7.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes says 91%

I say 8.5/10